PRO*ACT Announces Women’s Leadership Fund To Drive Change
MONTEREY, CA - I have a feeling that we'll see an uptick in female leaders across the produce industry, as suppliers and buyers alike have implemented new initiatives in honor of Women's History Month. PRO*ACT is one such company, launching a new fund that will create welcoming opportunities for more women to enter the produce industry.
"We've seen growers, distributors, and our own company benefit from the thoughtful contributions of talented women over the years, but we also know that this is an industry where women's representation has lagged behind other industries,” shared CEO Chip Walker. “We hope this fund is another step to bring more women to a field who needs their perspectives, experiences, and leadership."
The company will be opening up scholarship applications in June for women pursuing a graduate or postgraduate degree while majoring in various industry-related programs, including horticulture, agribusiness, and supply chain management.
The announcement coincided with International Women's Day, as well as a week where PRO*ACT is celebrating women across the fresh produce supply chain while highlighting on their website and social channels five whose contributions have strengthened PRO*ACT and their partners.
"The timing for this initiative is right; we want to have a workforce representation that empowers our industry to grow exponentially," commented Marketing Manager Mackenzie Lovelace, who is working with a team from PRO*ACT and its supply chain to award scholarships in August.
According to a press release, the influential women that PRO*ACT will feature includes:
- Joan Daleo, CEO, Ole Tyme Produce
- Meyree Escobar, Senior Account Manager, PRO*ACT
- Penny Schneider, Director Contract Services, Vizient
- Michelle Weech, VP Marketing, Hardie's Fresh Foods
- Julie Laughton, Account Manager, Taylor Farms
"The workforce landscape is shifting before our very eyes," said Daleo. "As an industry, we have to continue to be intentional about attracting, mentoring, and promoting the talented, diverse, and motivated group of personnel who will one day lead our industry."
Walker continued, noting how this initiative will foster further equality across the industry.
"This isn't about reaching a quota," added Walker. "It's about building companies with the best people while recognizing that too often young women look at our industry, and then look elsewhere. This fund is designed to open that door a bit wider and show that we are serious about building a workforce of the best and the brightest."
More fierce female leaders continue to enter the industry, so be sure to follow along with their amazing accomplishments as ANUK reports.