Women in the Australian cotton industry are fortunate to have a supportive organisation called Wincott, that brings together women from all corners of the industry.
Gail Spargo first joined Wincott in 2014 as a regional representative and became president in 2019. She initially joined Wincott to meet people who were in different areas within the industry and today, shares its importance to the cotton community.
Cotton Australia caught up with Gail to talk about Wincott and how it has helped women in the Australian cotton industry.
“It’s given some key female leaders the opportunity to step into those more high-profile positions as they are able to have a network of women supporting them, which increases their confidence to be more ambitious in the industry.” Gail said.
In Australia, almost one third of cotton farmers are women, and in key industry organisations such as Cotton Australia, Cotton Research and Development Corporation and Cotton Seed Distributors, more than 40% of the workforce are women.
Gail said Wincott provides an “avenue for women to get in touch with other people in similar situations”.
Wincott’s popular sold-out luncheon, held at the Cotton Conference every two years is an important networking event. Last year, more than 250 women attended and heard from guest speaker Joy McClymont from Off the Track Training.
"It is important as it brings people in that wouldn’t otherwise attend and therefore enable women to make contacts with people they otherwise wouldn’t have associated with.” Gail said.
Wincott continues to provide a place for the future generation of female agronomists, growers, researchers, and other crucial members of the cotton industry.
Earlier this month, Wincott elected a new executive committee, with the goal to promote younger generations into leading roles that provide opportunity to lead and inspire.
During Cotton Collective, held in Toowoomba in early August, Wincott elected a new executive committee, with Gail handing the leadership reins to a new generation of female leaders, with Lou Green elected the new president, Nat Alderson as secretary and Mikayla Keith as treasurer.
“I’m excited to see the next group of leaders steer Wincott, but still be involved as a member,” Gail said.
Wincott last year partnered with fashion brand Sussan, who shares the passion of uplifting, inspiring and supporting women.
To find out more about Wincott visit their Facebook page here.