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Gender Equality Mainstreaming Digest – August 2020 Issue

Here are the highlights of this month’s Gender Equality Mainstreaming Digest! Click HERE for the full version.

Rosalinda Martagon Lily. Photo courtesy of D. Ceplis.


Opportunities and Upcoming Events:

Many events are being cancelled or re-scheduled at the last minute due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check each organization’s website or its social media site for up to date information.

Free Webinar: Keeping calm in a customer’s storm

Organizer: Manitoba Women in Agriculture and Food (MWAF)

Partners: Professional Women in Agribusiness (PWA)

Customers do not often call to tell the company they are doing an outstanding job! Customers call to let them know when they are displeased, and in that moment, you need to decide how you will handle the situation. An experience member from PWA, Brigette Readel, will share her advice and the group discussion can help you answer those questions more effectively. There will be discussion tips on how to prepare, what questions to ask and what might be your best mental attitude to handle the situation.

This session is for you if you:

  • Have a sales, customer service or administrative/reception role at a company, non-profit, educational institution, professional association or government;
  • Are an entrepreneur developing your client base and network;
  • Manage staff and report to higher-level personnel;
  • Are interested in gaining these skills in order to advance your career.

Mon, July 27, 2020, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CDT

Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference is going virtual!

The Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference is created for every woman who is passionate about agriculture and food, whether you are a university student studying agriculture, producer, entrepreneur, representative of a grower association or corporate agribusiness. AWC is for women who want to enhance their family life, community, career, and industry. Connect with like-minded women passionate about agriculture and food. Get ready for a great virtual conference experience on November 24 & 25, 2020:

  • hear from speakers on a wide variety of topics
  • connect with women attending the virtual conference in sessions, chat rooms, round tables and more
  • visit sponsoring companies and their staff at their virtual booth
  • ask questions during presentations through live or private chats
  • tune into the conference from your computer, tablet or mobile phone
  • watch presentations again until December 31, 2020
This Month’s News:

2020 Canadian Society of Animal Science Award Recipients

Among the awards:

  • Canadian Society of Animal Science Fellowship to Dr. Christiane Girard, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Young Scientist Award to Dr. Katie Wood, University of Guelph
  • Honorary Lifetime Memberships
  • Undergraduate Academic Achievement Awards
  • Graduate Student Travel Fellowships

New program to empower women entrepreneurs in agriculture

The non-profit Manitoba Women in Agriculture and Food (MWAF) is launching a program titled “Business Training and Development” for women who have a business idea or who already own a business and wish to grow it. The goals are to empower women entrepreneurs in agribusiness and offer a solution to unemployment in order to increase their participation in the industry and contribute to the sector’s growth and capacity for innovation. The program is complemented by a series of webinars for all women who work in the sector.

The gender gap in business, including agribusiness, has been documented. The Canadian Agricultural HR Council found that female entrepreneurs rarely are the sole owners of their farms, and when they are, the farms are smaller than average and experience a higher than average turnover rate. The Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH) reports that female entrepreneurs face barriers to financing, networking, training and mentors.

Fostering women’s entrepreneurship would pay off.

Survey shows more positive view of gender equality in agriculture

Agriculture continues to make strides as an equal opportunity employer, according to one human resources expert. “We want to make sure people are aware that there are vast opportunities in agriculture and that they’re a fit for anyone that wants to put in the time and effort to be a successful candidate,” said Erika Osmundson at

For more than 20 years, has matched job seekers and employers in the agriculture industry. Osmundson said conventional images about gender-based career roles are becoming a thing of the past.

Reports Publications and Resources:

Gender Data Series: Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on women and girls

The COVID-19 outbreak has uncovered pressure points impacting women and girls across an array of key issues including rise of gender-based violence, reduced capacity to earn a living, increased risks faced by female health workers on the frontline of the fight, and limited access to sexual and reproductive health services.

Devex and Facebook are launching a series of 10 practical virtual events to create a better understanding of the gender-related issues highlighted by the current pandemic and to share important lessons learned about how data can help inform better responses to the current crisis.

For example, Event 7 on Using data to support women entrepreneurs during COVID-19: Shattered markets and decreased mobility are threatening many women-led small businesses during COVID-19. Social distancing measures, disrupted supply chains, and decreasing global demand for certain goods have already had a detrimental impact on women entrepreneurs around the world, intensifying existing barriers such as limited access to finance and lack of social safety nets.

Women Entrepreneur Series: Expanding Access to Biogas During a Pandemic, a Mexico-based social enterprise manufactures, distributes, installs, and finances biodigesters that convert waste into cooking energy and fertilizer. was also recently selected to join the Clean Cooking Alliance’s new Venture Catalyst portfolio. This interview is the first in a series showcasing women entrepreneurs in the clean cooking sector.

The pandemic has, of course, imposed some unique challenges. With travel restrictions remaining in place in Kenya, has had to identify novel ways of maintaining a steady stream of new clients.

One solution has found useful is coordinating with referral programs or local organizations that can connect them with new markets. Another sales strategy is motivating sales agents with bonuses and other financial incentives that are paid the same day, rather than at the end of the month. With many families’ expenses increasing due to children and other family members spending more time at home, this source of instant financial relief and job security has proven to be extremely beneficial.

Part of the traditional sales package that offers after the installation of a new biodigester is a set of three, in-person trainings for each client. For the second of these trainings, has been able to transition nearly 80% of visits to phone-based assistance (in-person training is still available if customers require extra support).

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