“People are our business and we have a responsibility for their safety and welfare,” says Sanjeeta Singh, Head of Risk, Safety and Environment at Elders.
The graduate of the Foundation’s 2019 Agribusiness Leadership Program is passionate about caring for the welfare and efficacy of her organisation’s 2,100-strong team around Australia, but it’s a workforce with a difference.
“The Agriculture industry is especially challenging because of its geographical spread and the unique, diverse group of people it comprises, from farmers, to rural and regional suppliers to local communities,” she says.
For Sanjeeta, the Agribusiness program was “a challenge like no other,” and one that has improved her ability to take stock of the complexity she deals with day-to-day in her professional role.
“How you deal with the unknown challenges makes all the difference. I learnt to become more self aware and take the time to reflect on things,” she says.
The leader is currently developing a renewed Workplace Health and Safety plan for the vast rural business, with the support of Elders’ executive team and board.
“Leaders need to be fostered to enable the understanding required of this industry and its challenges so that they can embed appropriate plans to not only help the business prosper but also the local communities in which we operate,” she says.
For Sanjeeta, exposure to other leaders from the diverse backgrounds that characterise agriculture was another boon of the Agribusiness Leadership Program.
“Being able to connect with the people I met on the program has been great. Sharing knowledge and information is so critical and undervalued. We could be a much more efficient society if that became a standard practice,” she says.
And looking ahead, she sees a bright future for the next generation of leaders standing up to have a voice in agriculture, particularly in terms of gender diversity.
“It’s brilliant to see so many more women in our industry and workforce than ever before.”