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WE Lead Food

WE Lead Food

Do you want to make a real difference?

Now, more than ever, is an ideal time. We are creating a network of women leaders who wish to drive change, innovation and sustainability within the food sector as we face supply chain challenges. All you need to be is a woman who is passionate and committed about driving change within the food sector.

Smash glass ceilings. Take the leap and let’s soar together.

The WE Lead Food Programme is designed to equip you with the tools to make that difference and achieve results. The network is open to all discipline backgrounds; research, business, policy, civil society members. The WE Lead Food Programme will now be offered online from 2020 and has been designed specifically to ensure a high level of interactions, spontaneity and dynamism to build the network and opportunities for collaboration.

Applications to join our latest WE Lead Food programme have now closed. But, if you would like to be kept advised of any future WE Lead Food Programmes please email

Looking back at the WE Lead Food Programme 2019.  100% of participants said they would recommend it to a friend.



A recent report by McKinsey entitled ‘Women in Food’ has highlighted that while the food sector employs around 49% of women at entry levels, in the upper levels these numbers drop to as low as 9%. The reasons are many and complex, but some key ones identified in the report and through the work of the WE Lead partners are:

  1. Less women than men feel that entrepreneurial leadership is for them
  2. Lack of manager support
  3. Significant systemic commitment to gender and diversity matters within organisations
  4. Explicit and implicit signalling about privileged leadership stereotypes
  5. Ineffective, or worse, undermining communications about gender matters

For the full report please visit here.

Smash glass ceilings. Take the leap and let’s soar together.

We are grateful to all our esteemed mentors and contributors. Hear from Severine Balick, Food and Agritech VC and WE Lead Food Programme Mentor 2019.


When we look at the number of women entrepreneurs that receive funding in Europe, it's still less than 6-7%
Severine Balick, Food and Agtech VC

Join WE Lead Food and work with other women in the Food sector like:

Milena LazarevskaDr Sue Bailey Food Historian and Food ScientistAnna Traylor Programme Director

The Programme

The WE Lead programme offers researchers and professional women an opportunity to:

  • explore and develop both their entrepreneurial and leadership self
  • address systemic issues
  • define their vision for a more sustainable food system
  • devise a plan for the change

The programme is made up of interactive sessions designed to unlock and develop the entrepreneurial mindset and capabilities of the participants in the context of leading in the complex and changing food industry.

The experiential component will be complemented by a leadership development plan and a mentoring programme.  To challenge and progress the development plan, each participant will have access to industry, academic and/or policy mentors, cross-sector industry leaders’ network and the tools to leverage both entrepreneurial and collective leadership ways of working.

The programme will be online and delegates will be able to apply and test their learning in their respective workplaces, with mentor support.

  • Module 1: Entrepreneurship for Sustainability and expert mentoring

9 Oct 2020 (1 full day) followed by 4 x half days weekly plus expert mentoring

  • Module 2: Leadership for Impact and peer-to-peer mentoring

6 Nov 2020 (1 full day) followed by 4 x half days weekly plus peer-to-peer mentoring

It is our intention to hold an in-person interactive event in 2021. All our WE Lead Food Alumni will receive an exclusive invitation.

To ensure the quality of the programme we will be restricting numbers.

This programme draws together the years of experience from The University of Cambridge in training mid-career professionals, Aarhus University and EUFIC. 

Course Fees:
Fee for each module € 650+tax. 
Discounted Fee for attending BOTH modules € 1,000+taxes.
Deadline for applications is 31 August 2020.

WE Lead Food costs €3,000 per person but for 2020, successful applicants will receive funding from EIT Food enabling us to offer the reduced prices shown above.

We will never discriminate on the ability to pay. Excellent candidates are encouraged to apply and discuss their situation once they are accepted and rated as Excellent or Exceptional by the review panel. Evidence of need will be required and must be submitted before the 31st August 2020 for Early Bird applicants and 20th September 2020 for other applicants.

Numbers are restricted to ensure the quality of the programme is maintained. All programme details and logistics will be provided to applicants offered a place on the programme. 


Entry requirements

  • Those who identify as women
  • Have a passion and commitment to deliver a more sustainable food system
  • Currently in, or aspiring to, a leadership position in the food sector
  • All discipline backgrounds welcome
  • Research, Business, Policy, Civil Society members welcome


The following partners are involved in the project

University of Cambridge
Aarhus University

Project Lead

Shima Barakat

University of Cambridge

Contact details

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