Central West Farming Systems’ Diana Fear selected for NFF Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program

| Posted Jun 05,2020

Amongst the chaos of COVID-19 shutdown, Central West Farming System’s CEO, Diana Fear decided to apply for the National Farmers’ Federation Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program.

“I’m always wanting to improve my leadership skills and the program looked really interesting. I applied online and next thing I know, I received a phone call saying I was successful. It was a wonderful surprise,” Diana said.

The Diversity in Agriculture Leadership program is a five month one-on-one mentoring program supported by a large group of partner organisations who have committed to increasing gender diversity within their own organisations and to report on their progress annually.

There are 12 women from across Australia that have been selected to take part in the program of online mentoring and personal development opportunities. The program matches each woman with a mentor who come from a diverse range of industries, but all with an agricultural bent.

Diana has begun meeting with her mentor and is appreciating the input and insight.

“They have matched the mentors and mentees really successfully. My mentor is helping me to identify the gaps in my knowledge, finding areas for improvement and increasing my network. I’m also excited to improve my financial literacy skills and confidence.”

Diana points to the lack of access to personal and professional development for rural women.

“Some women get into farming and don’t necessarily have all the financial or business management skills they need. Programs like this go some way to providing rural women with the same sort of professional development that they might get if they were in a corporate environment.”

It’s not only the mentor-mentee relationship that the program offers, Diana is excited about the peer to peer learning from the other 11 program participants.

“The other women in this program are amazing. The have a great deal to offer and I am already learning so much from their perspective and experience,” Diana says.

Diana believes the benefits of this program are not only for just for her.

“I’m really hoping that by being part of this program, the benefits will ripple out. I can see already that it is going to be helpful for my business and farm, but beyond that, also as the CEO of Central West Farming Systems, the knowledge, skills and network that I will gain will spread the benefits even further. Beyond that, I want to show younger rural women that there are great opportunities out there that they can grasp. They can create options, develop their careers and make the most of these opportunities,” she says.

Diana Fear is the CEO of Central West Farming Systems, a Soil CRC participant.