United Fresh Produce Association Launches New Program To Support Women In Produce
WASHINGTON, DC - As associations and companies across the industry place a spotlight on the achievements of women in produce, United Fresh Produce Association has helped lead the way. The association is continuing its mission by helping to raise awareness for the challenges that women face and overcome within the industry, and throughout the ongoing pandemic, by announcing its new Women In Produce: Overcoming the She-cession Together program.
“We applaud United Fresh for developing a new and much-needed opportunity for women in our industry to address our most recent career disruptions,” said Kristen Reid, Executive Vice President, MIXTEC Group Associates. “The pandemic itself does not discriminate, but the fallout of lockdown and isolation have fallen disproportionally on the shoulders of women. This program affords us an opportunity to collaboratively identify and address the new hurdles introduced this past year so we may move forward productively."
United Fresh’s Women in Produce: Overcoming the She-cession Together program will provide women the chance to vocalize and draw attention to new challenges that have been created by the pandemic and help explore solutions to these issues. According to a press release, the program will feature group discussion and one-on-one meetings that will focus on overcoming these challenges and advancing women’s careers and visibility in the produce industry.
The new program will follow a two-part model, starting with an introduction of the term She-cession and the exploration of the current state of women who are leaving the work force or stalling career growth due to the pandemic. Leaders will offer information on economic, societal, and gender-related challenges impacting women’s employment during this crisis. The information session will be followed by one-on-one meetings that allow participants to create new relationships, perspectives, and solutions for addressing these career challenges.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, women’s careers have been disproportionally impacted in relation to their male counterparts, creating what United Fresh refers to as the she-cession. Based on a recent study conducted by executive women’s community, Chief, 71 percent of female leaders feel that they are carrying a higher level of professional responsibility since the start of the pandemic. Additionally, while stress and isolation have affected almost everyone, 68 percent of the women reporting felt more isolated and lonelier, and 77 percent reported feeling more stressed.
“The good news coming from the Chief survey is that 90 percent of women feel an obligation to speak up for other women during these times, and 66 percent say they are more open to discussing their stress levels with colleagues now than before the pandemic,” said Amanda Griffin, Vice President of Education and Program Management, United Fresh. “This new program will facilitate discussion and relationships among women as we work collectively to combat the consequences of the pandemic on our career growth within the industry."
United Fresh members can participate in this new program for $100, and non-members can sign up for $200. Registration is now open on the United Fresh website.
How will associations across the industry continue to advance the careers of women in produce? Stick with AndNowUKnow as we bring you the answers.