NEWS RELEASE March 6, 2023
John Deere helping to forge change this International Women’s Day
Crestmead, Queensland (6 March, 2023) — IN the spirit of International Women's Day 2023, John Deere is helping deliver on the mission to elevate women forging change in communities, workplaces and beyond.
One of those women is Annabelle Southall, second-year apprentice greenskeeper at Royal Canberra Golf Club.
Ms Southall recently volunteered alongside five other female greenskeepers at the TPS Murray River PGA tournament at Cobram Barooga Golf Club as part of John Deere's Women in Turf program.
"It was great to meet some other females in the industry and share our experiences," she said.
"I don't get to work alongside many other women in my day-to-day role, but hopefully programs like this encourage more women to join the profession.
"I love being outdoors and each day is different."
Ms Southall is mentored by John Deere Golf & Commercial Mowing Manager, Kodi Becket, as part of the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association (ASTMA) Mentoring Program.
Mr Becket said the program had been an eye-opener for him.
"I'm a former course superintendent and grew up in a very male dominated industry, so it's interesting to hear Annabelle's perspective." he said.
"She shares with me some of the challenges of being only one or two females in a team of around 25, and we work together to overcome them.
"I don't need to teach her too much about agronomy, it's more education on career development and the business side of things.
"Greenkeeping becomes more of a management position once you get higher up – there's a whole gamut of skills that are important in being successful above just maintaining grass.
"In a lot of ways women are actually more attuned to the multitasking requirements of the job, it's really a matter of communicating that to encourage more females to actually enter the industry."
John Deere Production Systems Manager, Stephanie Gersekowski, said the Women in Turf program reflected the company's commitment to supporting women in agriculture and turf.
"There's only a very small number of female greenskeepers and superintendents in Australia, so the initiative is about promoting the profession and creating pathways for women to progress in the industry," Ms Gersekowski said.
After starting her career at John Deere as a graduate, Ms Gersekowski now plays a critical role in delivering innovative solutions and technology across agricultural and turf industries to meet the needs of Australian businesses and families.
"Working at John Deere has enabled me to develop myself professionally, while gaining a range of experience across agricultural and turf industries," she said.
"I'm grateful to work for a company that not only fosters the careers of women within the business but actively promotes equity across the various industries we support.
"I think International Women's Day's an opportunity to put a focus collectively on the conversation around equality, across all aspects of work and life. I think it's also an opportunity to pause and reflect on how far we've come and how much better the world is today for girls and women compared to 100, 50 or even 20 years ago."
Read more about the John Deere Golf Women in Turf program here.
About John Deere:
Deere & Company is a global leader in the delivery of agricultural, golf & turf, construction, and forestry equipment. We help our customers push the boundaries of what's possible in ways that are more productive and sustainable to help life leap forward. Our technology-enabled products including the John Deere Autonomous 8R Tractor and See & Spray™ are just two of the ways we help meet the world's increasing need for food, shelter, and infrastructure. Deere & Company also provides financial services through John Deere Financial. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at JohnDeere.com or in Australia at JohnDeere.com.au.