Celebrating Women in Produce: Tom Lange Company's Stephanie Hilton; Fowler Packing Company's Maile Devers; Pete's Corrie Hutchens; and Bee Sweet Citrus' Monique Bienvenue
THE WORLD - Women can do anything. As a member of an all-women editorial team here at AndNowUKnow, I’m constantly struck by the spark, intelligence, and fire of my coworkers. This extends to women of the industry, as well, some of whom I have met and some I’ve yet to shake hands with. Their words of advice, however, make me feel as though we’ve walked through part of the world already. I’m sure you’ll feel the same.
Stephanie Hilton, Marketing and Business Development, Tom Lange Company
“Some of the strongest women I have ever known are in the produce industry, many with long histories. What I tell anyone coming into this industry is that it is a lifestyle, not a job, and that you must understand and appreciate that. It is an industry that most do not learn about in school, but it is an industry ripe with opportunity.”
Maile Devers, Sales Executive, Fowler Packing Company
“I’ll never forget when a man claimed that all women in the produce industry are ‘hot’ when I just started my career. We are more than something to look at. We have brains, creativity, empathy, fortitude, resilience, and confidence to bring to the table. That’s hot in my books. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the fact that women are superhuman! I’ve had more zoom meetings with women and their children in the background…It’s amazing to see how we truly do it ALL. Here’s to the amazing women in our industry, you are worth celebrating every day.”
Corrie Hutchens, Marketing and Innovation Lead, Pete’s
“Female employees and leaders are a centrifugal force for good in the working world for so many reasons. The unfortunate reality is that the number of women in the workforce is now as low as it was in 1988 due to the pandemic and the associated child care and school crises. It is imperative for women to come together across the fresh produce industry in support of one another and continue to advocate for action and change in direct response to COVID-19’s unique and unequal impact on women. To all of my female counterparts in the produce world, you are not alone. Stay strong!”
Monique Bienvenue, Director of Communications, Bee Sweet Citrus
“One of the reasons why I was always so drawn to pursue a career in agriculture is because women have always played an integral role in our nation’s farm-to-fork movement. At every stage of production, you can always find passionate, hard-working women who are taking the lead in new, innovative projects, and I feel incredibly fortunate to work in an industry (and at a company) where women are encouraged to bring fresh perspectives to the table. Since starting my career at Bee Sweet Citrus, I’ve been able to meet, and network, with numerous forward-thinking women, and I hope that as an industry, we continue to inspire and uplift women for generations to come.”
Incredible words from incredible women. Keep reading AndNowUKnow for more inspiration to come.