Southern Cross Horticulture’s (SCH’s) Orchard Technical Advisor, Megan Fox, has featured in the news recently as part of Horticulture NZ’s submission to the NZ Parliament Primary Production Committee ‘Inquiry into the future of the workforce needs in the primary industries of NZ’. Honorary David Bennett asked “What is the next stage in a horticulture career for a young-women. We are getting a good attraction into tertiary education, but how do you see that progressing through for example the next 20-30 years. What are some of the challenges especially around women wanting to have a family and whether the horticulture industry gives women that capability?”.
Emma Boase, Horticulture NZ’s People Capability Manager, gave the example of SCH’s employee Megan Fox.
“I recently went picking kiwifruit and the harvest coordinator was a woman by the name of Megan Fox, she is an exceptional leader, she’s gone through the Young Grower Competition, the Hort NZ Leadership Programme, Executive International Horticulture Immersion Programme (IHIP), and she’s looking at starting a family”.
“She loves the responsibility that she has in her role, the pathway that’s available to her, and the leadership opportunities she’s getting. She also loves the flexibility horticulture has for her career going forward, particularly as she’s in a technical space, it provides a flexible a work environment and the ability to come back in after she has had kids and is ready to join the workforce again”.
Boase acknowledges the pressure on women to get their careers in order over a short time frame. Women between the age of 25-35 often do navigate the balance between a career and family, keeping the conversation open and promoting companies and real-life women helps to break the stigma and creates support.
It is great to see SCH featured at a parliamentary level, showing our commitment to enhancing the lives of our team through flexibilities being highlighted. Ka pai Megan, it is great to have young leaders like you part of our SCH team.