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A global campaign backed by leading meat businesses has been launched in Aotearoa New Zealand to change perceptions of careers in the meat industry, highlight female role models and encourage more women to join the sector.

‘She Looks Like Me’ Aotearoa will showcase the breadth of roles and career options that exist in the meat supply chain and launches with the ‘day in the life’ video of Cromwell Butcher, Jayne McMillan who has combined her love of science and her connection to the rural sector.

“When I started in the industry, 27 years ago, there were no women on the processing floor and they were largely confined to administration roles. Through hard work, passion and resilience I now own and operate a boutique butchery and delicatessen where I am CEO, Human Resource Manager, Accountant, Butcher, Packer, Customer Service Representative and more.”

I am proud to share my meat industry story through the ‘She Looks Like Me’ campaign, and urge any women to consider this sector. There is a role for everyone, from technical, butchery or trimming through to marketing, procurement, and leadership – your opportunity for growth is endless. Take the leap. I am living, breathing proof of where that first step can take you.”

The campaign follows New Zealand’s commitment to getting more women into the meat sector following the ‘Gender Representation in the Meat Sector 2020’ report which showed that women account for 36% of the industry’s global workforce. A first of its kind for the meat industry, the campaign aims to challenge stereotypes about working in meat and put a human face to the sector at a time when it faces increased public scrutiny and pressure to become more diverse.

Laura Ryan, global chair of Meat Business Women, which created ‘She Looks Like Me’, says: “To attract and retain more female talent, the meat industry needs more visible role models and showcase a wider variety of roles. Many people still think working in the meat industry means being a farmer or working on the production line – and they often think it means being a man. By championing real women who work in our sector, ‘She Looks Like Me’ will shine a light on the meat industry in a way that’s never been done before, giving it a human – and female – face and showing the career options that exist.”

Co-chair of Meat Business Women New Zealand, Abigail Delaney adds “Visibility is a significant hurdle and one our industry needs to overcome. To see is to be seen and the She Looks Like Me campaign paves the way to address this.” Co-chair, Julia Gardner agrees, “We are committed to championing the achievements of the inspiring and influential women within the meat sector. Jayne is a shining example of how far this industry can take your career”.

The industry – businesses and individuals – are encouraged to download the digital resources from the Meat Business Women website, share the campaign videos and post their own #shelookslikeme content. For more information and to join the Meat Business Women community for access to all initiatives, mentoring platforms, masterclasses and priority access to events, visit www.meatbusinesswomen.org

For more information about Aotearoa New Zealand’s meat industry and the varied roles within, visit www.meatyourcareer.co.nz

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