Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level



Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology


Rucker, K. Jill

Committee Member/Reader

Cox, Casandra

Committee Member/Second Reader

Estes, Hanna


There is no doubt COVID-19 has forever shaped the way our organizations operate, and leaders emerge in times of crisis. However, women uniquely face challenges and obstacles in the workplace during non-pandemic circumstances that were amplified in the past year as the lines between work and life were blurred. Literature and historical evidence show that women face significant barriers and bias compared to their male counterparts when pursuing leadership roles. This study sought to identify how women in agriculture, a male dominated industry, have encountered circumstances of obstacles or bias in their careers as leaders, as well as how they have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A series of interviews were conducted with open-ended questions to gather insight into the experiences of participants, who were managers and leaders within food and agriculture organizations. The findings of this study are specific to the participants and cannot be generalized to the experiences of broader populations, however, they provide common themes shared amongst respondents that may resonate with certain audiences. These themes suggested that women in agriculture do face unique challenges their male counterparts do not and that COVID-19 presented a host of new obstacles. In summary, respondents agreed there is work to be done to achieve equality for female leaders in agriculture.


women, leaders, agriculture, COVID-19, pandemic, female, labyrinth