8 March 2020
Two of the women who have joined the CropLife team in the past twelve months both have their family to thank for their careers in agricultural science. Here are some of their thoughts as we celebrate International Women’s Day for 2020.
Angela Frank, Chief Financial Officer
“My induction to agriculture came through time spent on my Uncle and Aunt’s beautiful orchard in Moteuka Nelson, which has been passed down over three generations, and a childhood spent around the farming hills of Titahi Bay in Wellington New Zealand.
“Pursuing a career in finance and technology, initially my work took me around the globe and into most sectors – except agriculture! It’s the decade I spent working as a volunteer for UNICEF that rooted me back in the importance of the farming sector. I really understood the value of affordable food supply and sustainable and safe agriculture.
“Like many women, my focus every morning and every night is the next generation – our children, nieces and nephews, and the world they will inherit – that they will have a guaranteed food supply and the opportunity to grow up to be healthy and strong.
“In a world driven by so much hype and misinformation, I have the opportunity at CropLife to work with inspiring and learned female colleagues, such as Drs Katie Asplin and Anne-Sophie Dielen, that every day try to sift through fact from fiction, threat from opportunity and ensure the public is better informed.
“In spending time with scientists, farmers, regulators and health specialists, I can really see the opportunities provided by the plant science industry. Crop protection products and agricultural biotechnology innovations support growth in agriculture, have been independently tested and support the safe and abundant food supply our world so desperately needs.”
Dr Anne-Sophie Dielen, Director – Crop Biotechnology Policy
“I grew up listening to my grandfather’s stories about life on a small French farm. At just six years old those stories prompted me to decide that one day, I would help farmers grow better crops. This led me to a PhD in biotechnology, a move to Canberra first to work on GM crops, then in science regulation and policy.
“Everywhere I look I see the immense challenges of climate change and linked to this, the ever-growing threat of disinformation and misinformation. I’m confident that we will be able to feed a growing global population in a changing climate – but only if we listen to the experts.
“I know many people see regulation and policy as quite boring, but they are critical. My role at CropLife helps develop agricultural biotechnology regulations that are science-based and up to date, so that researchers and farmers can get access to safe, innovative technologies.
“I am grateful that I get to work and interact with remarkable, highly skilled, fierce women who are powerful advocates for the agricultural sector. There is still a lot to be achieved for gender balance and diversity, but I am hopeful. Quite frankly, I’m in awe of the talents I get to work with daily!”