I’ve recently seen comments on social media about women trying so hard to prove we are equal to men that we are losing our uniqueness, as women were created not do everything a man can, but to do everything a man can’t. As a woman in agriculture, who promotes women in agriculture, these comments made me stop and reflect on what I am doing and why I am doing it.
Agriculture is a predominately male field. My desire to promote women in ag is simply to increase awareness that women are involved. I agree that women have uniqueness, and we are bringing that uniqueness to the industry. To me, that is worth celebrating. Traditionally, women weren’t welcome in the field. Today, we are breaking down those gender stereotypes and becoming successful growers, pest control advisors, seed breeders, water quality specialists, and many other types of professionals that were traditionally male roles.
Men and women have different strengths. Combining these strengths in the field and in positions of leadership allows the industry to prosper. I’m not trying to prove I am equal to a man. There are things men do much better than me, and there are things that I think I do better then men. I don’t really see it as a gender issue, but as a promotion of what we each individually bring to the table. But being outnumbered as a woman, we have a different perspective.
For me personally, my story is a positive one that I want to share. As a Mass Communication and Media Studies major, I’m in a good position to do some promotion. Agriculture is a challenging field. Between culture barriers, language barriers, educational barriers, regulatory barriers, and perceptional barriers, etc., proving gender equality is the least of my intentions. I’m just doing the things I enjoy, and I’ll take advantage of the opportunities that come my way. After all …