Prime Super provides mentors for women in agriculture
Published on 14 Dec 2021
Two Prime Super directors were mentors in the 2021 Diversity in Agricultural Leadership Program (DiALP), Jacqueline Kelly and Allison Harker.
Jacqueline Kelly reflects on the experience.
A strong advocate for women in leadership and an experienced company director and CEO, Jacqueline is committed to growing the leadership capabilities of women.
'I am particularly keen to increase the number of women in senior leadership roles and help women advance their career in farming and agriculture,' she said.
The National Farmers Federation founded the DiALP in 2018. The program is aimed at women over 25 years old and aims to support them to identify and pursue leadership roles in agriculture.
With extensive formal and informal mentoring experience, Jacqueline was impressed by the NFF program.
'It is one of the best mentor programs I have seen. It is well structured, with specific milestones and great guidance for participants.'
There were 11 mentees in the DiALP in 2021 which ran from May to October. This year’s cohort, including Jacqueline and her mentee, Brei Montgomery, met in Canberra in June as the program got underway.
'I was really impressed by the quality and calibre of the participants, both mentors and mentees,' said Jacqueline.
Throughout the program, organisers encouraged and supported participants, particularly the mentees, to network with each other and share experiences and insights.
Jacqueline and Brei decided to catch up fortnightly to work through the program guide and check off key milestones. Due to COVID restrictions and geographical distance, these meetings were held virtually.
As they worked together, Jacqueline listened and drew on her experience as a senior executive who has balanced competing objectives, while navigating management and political challenges.
'Women in leadership often doubt themselves, so it is helpful to talk through issues and discuss how they might play out,' said Jacqueline.
'I felt I was able to help Brei navigate some of her challenges and provide insights which she found helpful.'
'It was a delight learn about her skills and background as well provide support as a mentor. In some ways she mentored me as much as I mentored her as we shared experience, wisdom and insights.'
Jacqueline’s passion as an advocate for women in leadership remains, and the DiALP has left a strong, positive impact on her.
'I found the whole experience tremendously fulfilling,' she said.
'I’ve had great mentors who have helped me in the past and I’m very grateful for that. This was an opportunity for me to give back.'