Official statistics for Scotland indicate that the rural workforce is predominantly male (around 74 per cent) and across Scotland there is a deficit of young people entering land based careers.
A new initiative, Women in Wellies, is looking to address the gender imbalance by encouraging young women to consider pursuing careers in the rural sector through raising awareness of the broad range of careers available and sharing inspiring stories.
Moredun were delighted to support the new initiative by contributing to a Women in Wellies event held in the Boat of Garten (Scottish Highlands) on Tuesday 30th October. The event organised by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) involved over 100 young women from local high schools, colleges and universities.
Introducing the event Anna Fleming, CNPA Education and Inclusion Officer commented:
“Whether its farming and crofting, gamekeeping, forestry, conservation or recreation – and everything in between – we are keen to see more young women consider a rural career. The land based sector is very important to the economy of the Cairngorms National Park and with fewer young people pursuing jobs in this industry we think that by inspiring women we might be able to reverse that trend. We really hope that the ‘Women in Wellies’ event may give some young women the confidence and encouragement to think about a rural career.”
Attendees listened to presentations from women who are already making a living working in forestry, farming, gamekeeping, recreation, conservation and academia. This was followed by an opportunity to learn more with ‘A Day in the Life’ work stations encompassing a wide-range of rural pursuits.
Moredun’s Dr Beth Wells was one of the women from across Scotland who shared their personal journey from school to a career in the outdoors:
“Moredun were delighted to be able to support this event which is a very worthwhile initiative, run by the Cairngorms National Park Authority, to encourage women to consider careers in rural areas. There was an impressive range of rural careers showcased at the event giving the young women attending a flavour of what is available and also what is attainable. I’ve spent my entire career working in the rural sector and have been fortunate enough to have had some great mentors. I hope this event has stimulated ideas and a confidence to follow them up in the delegates, most of who were S3-6 from local secondary schools.”
Be part of the conversation
Share your own #WomeninWellies story or use the hashtag to ask a question about future career opportunities or for advice on how to get into the world of rural.
For more information about the Women in Wellies initiative please contact Anna Fleming at the Cairngorms National Park Authority (Tel: 01479 870572 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org)