Women working to transform the dairy industry joined an International Women’s Day event to celebrate and discuss the theme ‘Break the Bias’ at Holyrood.
The Digital Dairy Chain, led by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), invited women from the industry to attend the annual Scottish Women’s Convention Parliamentary Reception on 4 March to promote their work.
They also had the opportunity to meet Susan McKellar, Operations Director for the Scottish Women’s Convention, before her attendance at the UN Commission on the Status of Women conference in New York to discuss the themes of innovation and technological change and rural women and girls.
The £21 million Digital Dairy Chain, funded by the UK Research & Innovation’s Strength in Places Fund, offers businesses and individuals involved in the dairy supply chain across Cumbria and South & West Scotland a range of services to support innovation and productivity through collaboration.
Pauline Murray, Innovation Broker Project Manager, said: “One of the Digital Dairy Chain’s aims is to create more opportunities and access points for women to enter the dairy sector.
“However, for the industry to be appealing to new entrants, we need to showcase the range of roles and careers available.
“We invited 19 women working as researchers, technology experts, project managers, ice-cream producers, farmers and policy advisers, to the Scottish Parliament to demonstrate the breadth of existing skills and the important role women play in this sector.
“We want to help break down the barriers to participation by raising awareness of the support and opportunities projects such as the Digital Dairy Chain are offering women.”
Toni Bruce, Responsible Sourcing Specialist at First Milk – one of the Digital Dairy Chain partners – said: “The dairy industry has traditionally been male dominated but women have a vital role to play across the sector.
“We are keen to encourage more women into the industry and to celebrate the amazing contribution that women make every day on dairy farms and throughout the dairy supply chain.
“At First Milk, we have a well-established Women in Agriculture group, and we are delighted that participants from this were able to join the event at Holyrood to celebrate International Women’s Day.”