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2020 Gender Roles & Equality in Agribusiness Report: Benefits, Work/Life Balance, and Production Agriculture

Kristine Penning,


The “2020 Gender Roles & Equality in Agribusiness” survey report update sheds light on the current experience of women working in agribusiness. Questions examined topics such as compensation, benefits, work/life balance, equality, and advocacy with a full analysis revealing similarities and discrepancies between men and women’s experience while working in agriculture.

When we take a look at compensation, half of women working in agribusiness felt that they were the “breadwinner” in their household. Sixty-one percent of men considered themselves to be. However, slightly over half (54%) of women felt that they would be better compensated if they were male working in agribusiness. So how does this perception compare to reality?

All respondents to this survey were asked for their current base salary. Responses indicate a slight disparity in pay between genders with men typically earning more than women in agribusiness. Women’s income peaked at the $50,000 to $70,000 annual income mark and declined from there while men’s reported income peaked at $70,000 to $90,000 and then declined with a 5% rebound at the $150,000+ mark.

Men and women were fairly similar in their opinions regarding their most valued benefits. Both genders cited health insurance, flexible working hours, and 401 K retirement/RRSP in their top three. Men placed more value on a company vehicle and regular recognition. Women cited a bonus and maternity leave as their next highest benefits.

Female respondents reported feeling the stress of being a working parent more than men. Seventy-seven percent of women with children reported that being a working parent has, at times, made it difficult to advance their career. Just over half (51%) of men felt the same.

In 2015 when we created the original “Gender Roles & Equality in Agribusiness” survey, we received feedback from women who were solely producer or producers in addition to their roles in agribusiness that they felt the core questions did not apply to their experience. To learn more about their experiences, we created a “Production Agriculture” section. Less than 30% of women responding to this survey participated in this section.

Forty-two percent of those women responding reported that they are landowners. More than half (57%) had at least a stake or partial ownership in the farming/ranching/production operations where they work. Of those who did not own land, more than 70% hoped to one day own land or own a stake or share in a production operation.

Want to get more details from the report? Download the full report by visiting and click “Market Research” under Resources under either the Candidates or Employers tabs. Or view this highlights slideshow document.