We were proud to support 25 under-30s in joining the Women in Food & Farming networking event held at Savills’ global headquarters in London in April. One of our own under-30 team members, account manager Laura Yates, accompanied Pinstone managing director Catherine to the event.
It was brilliant to join over 50 delegates from a wide range of agri-food businesses at the Pinstone-sponsored event, which was hosted by Christine Tacon CBE, organiser and chair of Red Tractor.
Working closely with MDS Ltd, we put forward RABI’s head of partnerships, Suzy Deeley, as a guest speaker for the evening. Suzy shone a light on RABI’s role in supporting farming people to tackle mental health challenges. The result was an incredibly thought-provoking discussion on how collective action can achieve effective change for farming communities.
Networking – escape your comfort zone
An enjoyable evening of networking followed Suzy’s presentation. Taking the floor to welcome the new under-30s in the audience, Pinstone MD Catherine shared an insight into her own career forging a female-led PR agency.
She reflected on how far the agri-food and PR industries have come – recalling memories of standing in front of ‘a sea of grey suits’ back in the day.
Catherine also gave us younger delegates some clear networking advice:
- Start by sacking off who you came with tonight!
- Push yourself out of your comfort zone to speak to at least two new people in this room.
It certainly encouraged me to track down some new friends and make the most of this opportunity I felt lucky to have been given.
Inspiration from females in the agri-food sector
With Catherine’s advice in mind, here two of the new Women in Food & Farming delegates share learnings they took from meeting fellow females in the agri-food industry.
Dannielle Roche, PhD researcher in Biostimulant Science and Engineering, Cranfield University
“As an early career researcher in the field of soil science, it was a fantastic way for me to network with others in the wider agricultural industry and be inspired by women’s careers in food and farming.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to engage with the network both online and at future in-person sessions,” she adds.
Heidi Phillips, MSc student in Future Food Sustainability, Cranfield University
“During the Women in Food & Farming event, I encountered a range of women with varied experiences – from those who have been in the food and agricultural industries for many years, to those just venturing in. This felt somewhat humbling,” notes Heidi.
“Our industry has always been portrayed as male dominated. Boy, were they wrong.
“Meeting these women – it felt new, it felt exciting, it felt right,” she says. “Conversations during the night opened my eyes to spaces within the industry I hadn’t even considered.
Heidi concludes: “I urge any female within the industry to attend a Women in Food & Farming networking event, because in one way or another, you’ll leave motivated to explore different avenues with a new wealth of connections.”