For IWD John Deere spotlights apprentice Annabelle Southall

For IWD John Deere spotlights apprentice Annabelle Southall

 March 09, 2023

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In the spirit of International Women's Day 2023, John Deere helps deliver on the mission to elevate women forging change in communities, workplaces, and beyond.

One of those women, Annabelle Southall, is a second-year apprentice greenskeeper at Royal Canberra Golf Club.

Sharing experience with further women in industry

Annabelle recently volunteered alongside five further 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. 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," explained Annabelle.

Mentoring and guidance from a John Deere leader 

John Deere women

Annabelle is mentored by John Deere Golf & Commercial Mowing Manager, Kodi Becket, as part of the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association (ASTMA) Mentoring Program.

Kodi 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. 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," explained Kodi.

"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," added Kodi.

Committed to supporting women in agriculture 

Women in Turf Program

John Deere Production Systems Manager, Stephanie Gersekowski [pictured above], 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," said Stephanie.

After starting her career at John Deere as a graduate, Stephanie 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. 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," commented Stephanie.

Forge a career with an inclusive employer

Working in an inclusive environment, John Deere employees help push customers push the boundaries of what's possible in ways that are more productive and sustainable to help life leap forward.

Using pioneering technology, employees help meet the world's increasing need for food, shelter, and infrastructure. 

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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