Article by: Hari Yellina
The number of female livestock brokers has increased as a result of an industry expansion and a change in mindset, but the fight for equality in the workplace is still difficult. At her company, Georgia Gorham is one of just two female agents out of 20 total, but she claims that this is far more than most agencies, where only approximately 3% of livestock agents countrywide are female. Ms. Gorham is aware firsthand of the difficulties that many female agents have in the field. “Many of the companies for which I attended interviews were very honest in expressing that although you have the qualities needed to be a good agent, our sector is simply not ready for a woman now,” she added. Frequently, Ms. Gorham was asked if she planned to have a baby when she applied for jobs.
Although there have been changes in the profession, according to Ms. Gorham, there is still a long way to go. “There’s a generation that still believes that women have their place, and it’s not in the house,” she remarked. However, many of my clients don’t give a damn about my gender as long as I do a decent job. She has first-hand experience with discrimination owing to people frequently asking her where “the males” are and not taking her seriously due to her gender in her position. There are numerous minor instances, according to Mr. Gorham, “where a man made it very apparent that they don’t think I’m adequate to do the job.”
A young woman participated in last week’s young auctioneers’ event, according to Leo Redden, a trainer at the most recent Australian Livestock & Property Agents Association (ALPA) school in Naracoorte, who claims that more women are enrolling in their auctioneering programmes. For the first time since the 1980s, gender resurgence has recently been observed by Mr. Redden, who has worked in the sector for 40 years. He stated, “In the 1980s, we had a young woman named Sue Stanton work as a livestock agent and it was remarkable. “We believed it might have been the start, but it appears that decreased when the livestock business as a whole struggled in the late 1980s and early 1990s. “However, it’s encouraging to see young women participating once more, and all agencies are encouraging that.”
Female auctioneers, according to ALPA Chief Executive Peter Baldwin, have a special set of skills that make them vital to the business. They are excellent with animals. From what I have seen as a career agent, they are fantastic with their attention to detail and their God-given ability is something to be written up about,” he remarked. In terms of what they can bring to our profession, they “have an armoury that is multi-tiered like.” Mr. Baldwin ascribed the sector success to the rise in female livestock workers. “It’s undoubtedly a result of the better climatic conditions we’re experiencing.” According to Mr. Baldwin, businesses are no longer “quantifying people” based on whether they are male or female in recent years.” “With young people, it has never looked better,” he said.