New Council Supports Women in Food Processing Industry
A new council from the Food Processing Suppliers Association will help support women’s careers in the industry.
To empower women in the industry, the Food Processing Suppliers Association has created the FPSA Women’s Council, which will launch at its September conference, PROCESS EXPO.
“It is tailored for women in food and beverage regardless of title, position, or age within their company,” FPSA Vice President of Sales Grace Cular Yee said. “And it is to provide new knowledge strategies for women to succeed in their current positions in food and beverage as well as inspiration, motivation, and education to take their career to the next level.”
Though still in its beginning stages, the council aims to provide networking and education opportunities for industry women, especially through events and webinars.
“Through education that FPSA is hosting … and along with the FPSA Women’s Council, as well as professional networking opportunities, we believe the FPSA Women’s Council can empower its members and that will allow us to achieve personal and professional success,” Yee said.
The Women’s Council will launch with the Women’s Leadership Breakfast during PROCESS EXPO, which will feature a keynote by Donatos Pizza and Jane’s Dough Foods Board Chairwoman Jane Grote Abell. An invite to the breakfast will be sent to all women registered for the meeting.
In addition, committee members will hold 30-minute meetups on the expo floor each day of the conference for women interested in the council, and council advisory members will lead two 20-minute sessions on women in the industry and its changing workforce.
“We believe that by bringing all these women together, we can help each other up by sharing ideas,” Yee said. “We can share our knowledge with one another.”
As more women graduate with degrees suited for the food processing industry and the industry’s workforce shifts to include more women, the council is a way for FPSA to provide specific resources for them and help them enter the profession. Mary George, North American marketing manager for Pentair who helped found the FPSA Women’s Council, was the first woman elected to FPSA’s board, which she said demonstrates the need to support women in the industry.
In the future, she hopes the council will provide educational scholarships for those women who are pursuing degrees relevant to the industry. Already the council has gained a significant amount of support and interest from women who are already a part of FPSA. Membership in the council, as well as attending the opening breakfast event, are free.
“It was very exciting to see the number of women from female company owners down to—I’m a marketing manager—other support staff, just being very anxious in getting involved in changing this organization into something that will help women in this industry,” George said.
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