Leadership roles empower women at Agrovista

To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, Agrovista is delighted to celebrate the success of some of its female leaders.

THE face of agriculture is changing. By championing equality in the workplace, Agrovista has fostered a culture where people grow and learn from each other, and where women are actively encouraged to pursue their career aspirations.

“Agrovista is proud of the diversity in our workplace,” said Head of Human Resources, Tracey Winson. “Whether that’s agronomists, colleagues at our depots or senior managers, we just couldn’t run a successful business without the contribution of women.”

Reflected throughout the company’s values, Agrovista believes that people are its greatest asset, and that through trusting, valuing and respecting them, employees are empowered to achieve their potential.

It was following a recommendation from a male colleague that Linda Sheppard found herself promoted and managing two sales teams. Currently Area Sales Manager (ASM) for the South East and East Anglia, Linda began her career with Agrovista around 30 years ago.

“I was the first female ASM Agrovista had appointed, so you could say it was quite something. It was outside of my natural comfort zone, but I thought, why not?

“It can be difficult as my job takes up a lot of my time and is hard work, but it was always the plan to return from my two brief periods of maternity, to continue pursuing my career.

“I think it’s key to keep going despite the knock-backs, it’s rarely because you’re female, it’s simply the nature of the job – we just have to be resilient.”

Having worked in the seed trade for most of her career, Claire Vergette oversees production at Agrovista’s Riby depot in Lincolnshire – a role in which she thrives thanks to her problem-solving nature.

Despite being a small industry, Claire has no intention of leaving, and although unusual to be a female in her role, she believes that if you know your job, gender doesn’t come into it.

Claire said: “Seed isn’t instantaneous, so the production process and therefore planning can be challenging.

“But I’m naturally a problem solver, and because each season is completely different to the next, you do need to be adaptable.

“The goal has always been to give my job my full attention, because I want to be the best at it that I possibly can. In doing so, I hope to enable us to grow our seed business with the aim of increasing capacity.”

One of the more recent additions to Agrovista’s senior management team is Head of Marketing, Jodie Vale. Joining in summer 2018, she was asked to rejuvenate the company’s marketing, introduce new ways of working and implement big changes.

“It’s not often that you’re given the opportunity to ‘shake things up’ and full autonomy to implement a new marketing and brand strategy,” said Jodie.

“And it works – we’re now a high performing team and achieve results as a unit. But, the support I’ve received from colleagues from across the business and willingness to engage with marketing is what has made it happen.

“I also have two young daughters so for me, being a strong, female role-model for them is one of the greatest things I could ever achieve.”

For more information about working at Agrovista, visit www.agrovista.co.uk/careers

 

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.