Women who are current and emerging leaders in the horticulture industry can now apply for a leadership development scholarship opportunity. Funded by Hort Innovation and Women and Leadership Australia (WLA), the scholarship grants cover up to 60 per cent of the cost of leadership programs in the industry.

The funding is specifically designated for women working in the horticultural sector who are emerging, mid-level or senior leaders in their sector and workplace. Hort Innovation chief executive officer, Matt Brand said the gender disparity within the agriculture industry was well recognised, and Hort Innovation was proudly supporting a new era of gender equality and integration across horticulture through strategic levy investment. “In recent years we have invested heavily in leadership projects encouraging women to take the lead by working with partnering organisations to offer tailored programs designed to build skills and provide leadership training and opportunities,” he said. “Through the Hort Frontiers Leadership Fund, we have already had 12 women undertake the Masterclass in Horticultural Business training, with five graduations in the last round. Our partnership program with WLA has already seen 11 successful graduates from the Women in Leadership Project, and there are another three scholarship recipients currently enrolled,” he said.

Scholarship applicants can choose from three courses: the Accelerated Leadership Performance Program, the Executive Ready Program and the Advanced Leadership Program. The blended courses are delivered on a part time basis over four, seven or 12 months respectively. Participants will learn skills such as heightened presence and influence, managing team dynamics, driving performance and leading innovation and change. The funding is available to individuals and groups of employees who own or work within businesses that pay a levy to Hort Innovation.

One of last year’s scholarship recipients, Mardee Cassin found the opportunity invaluable. “As a young woman in the Australian horticulture industry I applied to the Accelerated Leadership Performance Program to gain practical tools to equip me as I develop myself in my professional career.”

More information about the program and application process can be found here.

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