International Women's Day - Celebrating women in butchery - Maria Pio

In an industry dominated by males, we asked our Butcherbassador Maria Pio what made her undertake a sea change from an accounting career to a life in butchery and why she loves what she does.

1. What do you love about your job?

The best part about my job is being able to experiment with quality meat to create beautiful products (which are then sold instore). When I look at a piece of meat, I see it as potential and ask myself “what can I do to make this cut more exciting.”

2. What made you pursue this career?

My passion for meat drove me to pursue this career, along with the diversity, ability to learn, grow and share ideas. I love to trial ingredients and flavours to challenge my creativity, and a butchery role provides me with this opportunity.

I enjoy being involved with my local community and working instore allows me to interact with customers and form friendly relationships.

As a woman working in the meat sector, I believe we possess a unique female perspective that contributes positively to the industry.

3. What challenges or obstacles have you faced being a woman working in a predominantly male industry?

This career is physically demanding, and my height (I’m 5ft tall) has proven a challenge at times – for example when deboning full carcasses of pork and beef. I have not let this stop me, and have found the best way to deal with it is by not giving up and finding a way around it.

My passion drives me to succeed!

4. What advice would you offer females who are interested in getting butchery?

Do not believe in stereotypes relating to type of work such as age and gender. If you want to do it then trust in yourself. Go for it! Get involved!

The meat industry is rewarding and combines culinary skills, knife skills, customer service, visual artistry and a dedication to quality and presentation. It can take women on a variety of career pathways, including starting a new business and being part of the future of the food industry.

The butchery trade has so many fields to be explored. So get trained, get out there and let your talent shine. The opportunities are endless.

Read more about Maria here.