Meat industry visibility creating more opportunities for women, report finds

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

63% of survey respondents feel that perceptions of the meat industry are changing
63% of survey respondents feel that perceptions of the meat industry are changing

Related tags Women Meat Meat Business Women representation Meat industry

Women in the meat industry are gaining more opportunities as perceptions of the sector continue to improve, research by Meat Business Women has revealed.

Meat Business Women’s new report, ‘Gender Representation in the Meat Industry 2023’, showed that 63% of industry workers think that perceptions of the sector are changing and that opportunities are more visible than they were in 2020.

Since that time, there has been an 3% increase in the number of women filling chief executive roles within the industry, while the number of women in board-level positions has risen by 9%.

However, there was a slight fall in the percentage of women working in the industry overall, with a 4% reduction in women filling unskilled roles.

The research found that “best-in-class​” organisations had started building relationships with educational institutions, community groups and employment services in an attempt to shift how people view the industry.

This approach helped make opportunities in the meat industry more visible and accessible to people in entry level positions, encouraging them to pursue a career in the sector.

However, the industry remains reticent when publicising itself, meaning that people on the outside are still largely unaware of the opportunities available.

Our global research shows that perceptions are changing but we need to continue to focus on attracting women into meat businesses at all levels so that the industry is more representative of its customers and society,​” Meat Business Women founder and global chair Laura Ryan told Food Manufacture.

Ryan added that the research shows men and women see the barriers facing women working in the meat industry differently.

Meat Business Women campaign

In a bid to tackle how the industry is viewed, Meat Business Women launched the global ‘She Looks Like Me’ campaign. This was coupled with a video series designed to explore the variety of positions that women fulfil within the meat industry.

The research shows that progress has been made towards greater gender inclusion, but Ryan is urging the industry to continue pushing for change.

The industry has started to blaze a trail with gender inclusion, and we would urge it to continue to expand the focus of its inclusion work to create an environment where everyone can thrive​,” she said.

“The data tells us that there is a widening gap between the best and worst businesses when it comes to inclusion. This is a problem for us all, and there is a huge opportunity for further pre-competitive working on best practice and key workforce policy issues.”

In related news, Food Manufacture detailed some of the recent appointments within the food and drink industry​.

Related news

Show more

Related suppliers

Follow us

Featured Jobs

View more


Food Manufacture Podcast

Listen to the Food Manufacture podcast