BGI and EIT Food Empowers Women to Feed the World

Updated: May 25, 2020

In March, to celebrate World Women's Day, we talked about women's role and we realized that there is still a long way to go in order to achieve gender equality. Today, we live in a time of contradictions: in Europe there are more women (52%) than men, however women represent only one third of the European Union's self-employed workers. Men continue to hold leadership and managerial positions in companies. The reasons for this are complex and diverse, but the main explanation has to do with women's own disbelief towards entrepreneurship. Most women tend to simply not believe that leadership is for them. Which, in our opinion, is not accurate. In our portfolio of startups we have several examples of female CEOs who prove that female talent can contribute to the success of a business and to generate economic value. Actually, out of the 4 exits BGI had, 2 had women founders/CEOs, even if the majority of our startups are men led. Of course, you can also think of many administrative and middle management positions filled by smart, competent women. However, examples quickly fade near the top of organizations.

In the agri-food sector, the scenario is identical. Especially in the rural areas of Europe, creativity and women's potential are little explored. This is where another contradiction arises. According to an article published in the National Geographic on the barriers women face in the agricultural sector, in general, globally, the face of farming is female. Despite this, in Europe, only 28% of women in the sector assume leadership or high responsibility functions on agricultural and livestock farms. Well… How about we even it up?