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Ag career moves fluid

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February 14, 2018

Alexandra Gartmann (left) and Jemma Pearl from Birchip Cropping Group talking about career patterns in agriculture.

Careers in the agricultural industry don’t necessarily follow a pattern or vertical line, more of a lattice — as Rural Bank managing director and chief executive officer Alexandra Gartmann likes to call it.

‘‘For me it is a lattice because you often go sidewards and can be very nimble in trying different parts of the agricultural industry to get ahead, as opposed to straight up in one organisation to the next senior role,’’ she said.

This adequately describes Ms Gartmann’s personal career path, which has seen her move through different organisations and roles to her current position which began in 2015.

Her position at Rural Bank also means she is included in the 14 per cent of women who are in management positions in the agricultural industry.

And while this is low, she believes there has been an increase in the involvement of women in the industry, just not in higher management roles.

‘‘When I think about the Rural Bank customer base there are actually at least — if not more than — 50 per cent where the primary contact for the financial side of the business is the female,’’ Ms Gartmann said.

Ms Gartmann made the comments in a podcast produced by Birchip Cropping Group with funding from Hugh DT Williamson Foundation.

Also discussed in the podcast is working overseas, the difference between working for BCG and Rural Bank, how we can increase the number of women in management roles, why more than just agricultural graduates are needed and what opportunities there will be for graduates in the future.

This episode is part of the Ag Careers in Focus podcast series aimed to showcase the range of ag careers on offer.

The podcast can be found on iTunes and Soundcloud by searching ‘‘Ag Careers in Focus’’.

■For more information about the podcast series or any questions, phone the BCG office on (03) 5492 2787.

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