Women from across Scotland will today ( April 21) join representatives from The Women in Agriculture group at the launch of a new mentoring scheme designed to create opportunities and networks for women working in the rural community.

Sponsored by Savills and Royal Bank of Scotland in partnership with Women in Agriculture group, a collective of organisations coming together to support women employed in land based industries.

Launched in spring 2016, the Women in Agriculture group was set up to in response to the significant role being played by women in farming, forestry and in rural businesses all over Scotland. It aims to recognise their collective contribution, whilst signposting support and development opportunities.

The first event is expected to attract 25 women from across central Scotland. A series of workshops have been developed spanning human resources, performance management with the view to sharing best practices across business. A second event has been confirmed for 3rd May in Perth.

Romy Jackson of Savills said: "A recent survey of the industry showed that almost 30% of the British agricultural workforce is now female and the trend is upward, with 25% more women than men choosing agricultural-related courses at universities and colleges in 2015. 

"This mentoring scheme will encourage us all working in the industry in Scotland to share experiences of what it actually means to be a woman working in agriculture today, to inspire those working within the sector and to harness and share best practice".

Roddy McLean, director, agriculture at Royal Bank of Scotland in Scotland, said: "The agriculture sector plays a crucial role in the lifeblood of the Scottish economy.

"This new mentoring scheme will not only offer support and learning opportunities for women employed in in the sector but will also offer valuable insight into what we need to do to make sure the industry here in Scotland is fit for the future."

The workshop has been developed Women In Agriculture Partners - Noel McGonigle MBA, HR Director Savills UK and Europe, Human Resources and Criona Courtney, Manager, Performance Consultant HR , Royal Bank of Scotland - in conjunction with Women in Agriculture.