Although the agricultural sector has a tough, masculine image, we often forget how many women work in agriculture. The tractor is a crucial implement on farms. But are tractors made for women drivers?

Women in Ag launches MachinHERy, an election for the most woman-friendly tractor or farm equipment, to raise awareness for more accessibility and inclusivity for agricultural machines and rewards the brands who are already taking steps in this direction. The very first edition of the election was launched in December 2023 at the Belgian tradeshow Agribex, with the election of the most woman-friendly tractor of the show during the fair’s Ladies’ Day. Seven women made up the jury who went looking for the most women-friendly tractor that day. All registered importers nominated one or two tractors. The initiative was an immediate success, with twenty-two tractors in total tested by the team of women on ergonomics, appearance and practical elements.

Kim Schoukens, founder ofWomen in Ag Magazine, is behind the initiative: “the agricultural sector still is very much male-dominated. In recent years, however, women have become increasingly prominent. During conversations with women farmers, I regularly hear them mention non adapted or ill-fitting work equipment, clothing and the like,” she explains. “Tractors are still mainly designed from a male point of view. Just think about the design of control levers or adjustability of the driver’s seat: too big, out of reach, requires too much physical strength. With this initiative, we want to point out that women also have their place in the industry and that there is still a lot of work to do towards more inclusivity while keeping it playful: the idea is to motivate manufacturers and raise awareness. We don’t expect stereotypical responses or huge changes overnight, but female input could absolutely be taken into account more often while designing agricultural equipment.”

More information will follow soon.