Social 20.02.2024

BP Bunge invests in actions to encourage women

Through conversation circles and training programs, the company encourages discussions to break down paradigms about the role of women in agriculture

por BP Bunge

According to a survey carried out by Esalq/USP’s Center for Advanced Studies in Applied Economics (Cepea), in partnership with the Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock of Brazil (CNA), female participation in agribusiness increased by 1.3% in the first quarter of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022 – a percentage equivalent to 139,900 new jobs held by women. The survey also shows that Brazilian agriculture has 10.7 million women among the employed population (38.07%), but that men are still the majority (61.93%), totaling 17.4 million. From this perspective, BP Bunge Bioenergia, one of Brazil’s leaders in the ethanol, sugar and bioelectricity markets, has been working to create opportunities to attract more women to the company’s agricultural sector.

The actions aimed at including women in agribusiness are part of a movement linked to the company’s ESG Agenda, which launched its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) program, Bem Plural, in the second half of 2023, after carrying out a diagnosis on the subject. Bem Plural contributes to building an ethical, fair, innovative, and attractive work environment that is representative of society, as it promotes welcoming and respectful behavior among all employees, professionals and business partners through understanding, dialogue, communication and initiatives. To increase diversity in the company, employees can take part in the program through affinity groups, divided into four pillars: Women; Race and Ethnicity; LGBTQIAPN+; and PwD. In addition, BP Bunge is a signatory of the UN Global Compact’s “Elas Lideram” (Women Lead) movement, which has led the company to take on the goal of having up to 30% female leadership by 2025.

Work front 100% feminine

In April 2023, a pilot project began at the Santa Juliana unit in Minas Gerais, with an all-female work front in the soil preparation activity. The company did some outreach to women in the communities near the unit, which made it possible to form two shifts composed only of women — including the direct leader, who was moved from another sector to support the new employees.  

After the success of the action, the company structured and implemented an initiative in the form of Conversation Groups, to attract women in the towns near the group’s 11 units. With the support of the municipalities, talks were given to the women of the communities to present BP Bunge’s culture, values and business model, as well as the opportunities and routine of working in the field. The first meetings took place between September and October in municipalities around the units in Guariroba (SP), Moema (SP), Ouroeste (SP), Santa Juliana (MG), Tropical (GO), Monteverde (MS) and Pedro Afonso (TO). By the end of the 2023/24 harvest, the Ituiutaba, Itapagipe and Frutal units, in Minas Gerais, and Itumbiara, in Goiás, will be holding Conversation Rounds in the communities.

“This initiative was conceived with the aim of integrating, empowering and valuing women in our sector, which is still predominantly male. We took women from our team who started out in entry-level positions and now hold leadership positions, to serve as an example and inspiration for women in the community,” says Natália Iole, Talent Manager at BP Bunge.

Capacity building for inclusion

According to Cesar Bresciani, the company’s Human Resources director, BP Bunge has adopted the strategy of investing in people development in order to become a benchmark company in the sector. For this reason, the company has an internal training program, called Capacita+, which has several fronts, such as Capacita+ Comunidade, which focuses on professional training for specific functions, such as agricultural machinery operators or mechanics. In addition, there is a version of the program dedicated exclusively to training women.

“The women’s edition is aimed at promoting equal opportunities, as well as boosting the personal and professional growth of these women, who may go on to be hired by the company. Our focus on investing in people is fundamental to the sustainable growth of our business,” says Bresciani.

Capacita+ Mulher in action

To initiate the Capacita+ Mulher actions, BP Bunge implemented a pilot project at the Guariroba (SP) and Santa Juliana (MG) mills, in collaboration with Senai, to train women as tractor operators. The training – which took place in November and December – involved 38 women from four towns near the mills. Senai administered the theoretical part, while BP Bunge provided the machines for the practical training.

“In this class, we trained 38 professionals, 14 of whom were hired at our units. Those who weren’t hired immediately will be part of our talent pool for future opportunities,” says Natália.

Over the course of the 2024/25 harvest, the Capacita+ Mulher program will be taken to the other BP Bunge units. The aim is to reach all 11 units in Brazil and the next to receive training will be Ouroeste (SP) and Pedro Afonso (TO).


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