The latest issue of the Delovoy Peterburg newspaper called “All the influential women of St. Petersburg – 2021” and timed to International Women’s Day, published an article entitled “A Gentle Sape”. The article was devoted to women’s leadership in the agro-industrial sector of the country’s economy. One of its main figures was Maria Butkina, the CEO of the “Krugly God” greenhouse complex located in Leningrad Oblast.
The reporter Marianna Matyushkina made a large-scale review of the agro-industrial sector of the region and talked to women holding managerial positions in local agricultural holdings. Given the specifics of the industry, it was expected that there would not be many representatives of the fair sex playing such roles. Historically, women in agriculture have been mostly associated with caring for plants or animals, as well as other activities where a “delicate woman’s touch” is needed. When in commanding positions, however, the majority believes that men should be in charge. Becoming an executive in the agro-industrial sector requires a woman to be not just an excellent specialist but a tough person as well. Besides, you need to be able to find common ground with employees at all levels, not forgetting that you have to work very, very hard.
Despite the widespread stereotypes, there are many women in Leningrad Oblast who are successful managers of agribusinesses, including large ones. Moreover, women hold managerial positions in most agricultural complexes, while men do technical and physical labor. At the same time, the overall ratio of men and women employed in agricultural enterprises is approximately the same.
One of the female leaders in agribusiness is Maria Butkina, the CEO of the region’s largest greenhouse complex “Krugly God” that operates as a part of ECO-Culture holding. According to her, there is definitely no shortage of female staff members in the indoor farming industry. The complex employs both male and female agronomists, while in sales, marketing, and personnel management, the leading positions are held by representatives of the fairer half of mankind.
Maria Butkina believes that the gender factor does matter in crop production. In fact, women tend to have a more sensitive eye, which is particularly important when it comes to growing greenhouse crops. After all, plants are living beings that need attention, care, and even companionship. Greenhouse workers spend most of their time looking after the plants – harvesting, while being the very goal of the whole process, takes relatively less time. Maria says, plants, just like people, might get sick. And it is preferable to prevent diseases rather than treat them after they occur. It is a woman’s keen eye that allows them to understand what plants need even when there are no obvious symptoms of the disease yet.
Additionally, agriculture and food production are the spheres that are directly related to home, household, and cooking. This is why women bring soulfulness and positive emotions to the brand and to the product itself, which is always a good thing. Also, women tend to have a more reverent attitude toward the quality and taste of vegetables and all kinds of other products. They are interested in making sure that the food is not only delicious but also safe.
Further in the article, the author provides statistical data on the ratio of men to women in the agro-industrial sector across the whole country and quotes the statements of some other experts.
The full text of the article is available in issue No. 31 of Delovoy Peterburg, edition of March 5, 2021.