The event was opened by Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes and included more than 200 guests from the meat industry.
Organiser Stacey McKenna, who is industry research, standards and capability manager with the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC), said the event highlighted not only a great desire among women to build their careers in the sector and foster opportunity for others, but also a few clear barriers to entry.
“The atmosphere at this event is difficult to describe,” she said. “The women who participated – and the men too – were incredibly passionate. This has been a long time coming. We had a pretty big waiting list of people who wanted to join us but couldn’t get tickets.
“The real takeaways are that women want meaningful careers in this industry. And they want to help other women find careers in this industry. But it’s not always that easy. Unsurprisingly, many talked about the challenges of coming back after maternity leave, or finding support to either move up the career ladder or do jobs traditionally done by men.”
The AMIC signed the partnership with Meat Business Women in January of this year. The UK iteration of the group is scheduled to have the Princess Royal in attendance at its conference in May.
The next Australian Meat Business Women event is scheduled for Brisbane in October.