In February, Vegan Women Summit hosted its first ever VWS Connect event — an opportunity for jobseekers to network with mission-driven employers aiming to build a kinder and more sustainable world. The event was a huge success, attracting almost 700 jobseekers from 42 countries — something which, according to founder Jennifer Stojkovic, “underscores the vital importance of this work”.
After the runaway success of this inaugural event, the second VWS Connect event will take place virtually on May 26th, to continue to address gender inequality in the workplace. A study carried out by VWS last year found that three-quarters of women in the plant-based industry had faced discrimination.
“We know the leadership of women around the world, particularly women of color, is key to powering the future of food, but many do not have access or connections to career opportunities in the industry,” says Stojkovic. “We’re here to change that by building a robust and diverse talent pipeline into the world’s most exciting mission-driven companies.”
And employers are equally eager to take part. Startups, established companies, and nonprofits worldwide have all signed up for the event, with names including Beyond Meat, Miyoko’s, BIOMILQ, and ProVeg.
The launch of VWS Connect follows on from the creation of Pathfinder, VWS’s pitching competition for women founders. The competition took place for the first time last year, with Renana Krebs of vegan textile company Algaeing named the winner.
“Finding diverse and passionate talent is always a challenge for time-strapped start-ups like us!” said Michelle Egger, CEO of BIOMILQ. “VWS is able to connect us with a pool of ladies we know are primed to join our mission of unlocking human potential and who will fit right into our culture of support, authenticity, determination, and resiliency.”