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United Fresh Introduces Programming Supporting Women In Produce

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Last updated on June 13th, 2024 at 03:18 pm

United Fresh’s new program, Women In Produce: Overcoming the She-cession Together, will provide an experience for women to vocalize and identify the new challenges that the pandemic has introduced to their work environments. They also will explore solutions – through discussion and one-on-one meetings – to overcome these challenges to continue to advance their careers in the produce industry. The program is scheduled for 2-3:30 p.m. ET on March 30.

United Fresh Produce Association has been honoring women in produce, elevating one honoree a year for more than two decades and helping to raise awareness of the challenges executive women face – and overcome ­– in produce.

Since the pandemic, women’s careers have been disproportionally impacted in comparison to their male counterparts, creating a “she-cession.” Based on a recent study conducted by executive women’s community Chief, 71 percent of women leaders feel they are shouldering a higher level of professional responsibility since the start of the pandemic. Further results of the survey find that stress and isolation have increased for almost everyone, with 68 percent of the women reporting feeling more isolated and lonelier, while 77 percent reported being “more” or “much more” stressed.

“We applaud United Fresh for developing a new and much needed opportunity for women in our industry to address our most recent career disruptions,” said Kristen Reid, EVP of MIXTEC Group Associates. “The pandemic itself does not discriminate, but the fallout of lockdown and isolation have fallen disproportionally on the shoulders of women. This program affords us an opportunity to collaboratively identify and address the new hurdles introduced this past year so we may move forward productively.”

The program follows a two-part model, starting with an “Introduction of the She-cession” and an exploration of the facts of the current state of women leaving the work force and/or putting career growth on hold during the pandemic. Thought leaders will present the factors of economic, societal and gender-related crisis impacting women’s employment.

Following the presentation, United Fresh will curate one-on-one meetings, allowing participants to forge new relationships for further exploration of each woman’s current state. Participants will engage in four, five-minute, one-on-one meetings, resulting in a collection of new relationships, perspectives and solutions for addressing their unique career challenges.

“The good news coming from the Chief survey is that 90 percent of women feel an obligation to speak up for other women during these times, and 66 percent say they are more open to discussing their stress levels with colleagues now than before the pandemic,” said Amanda Griffin, VP of education and program management for United Fresh. “This new program will facilitate discussion and relationships among women as we work collectively to combat the consequences of the pandemic on our career growth within the industry.”

United Fresh members can participate for $100. Non-members can participate for $200. Visit unitedfresh.org to register.

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