Emma Thomas - Achmea CEO

“Girls can be farmers too. Know you can truly be all you ever want to be”.

Achmea Chief Executive Officer Emma Thomas recently responded to a dad on Twitter who asked women in agriculture to help him convince his daughter Sylvie that she can be a girl and a farmer.

Read Emma’s letter to Sylvie here below.

Dear Sylvie

I believe you have been wondering whether you can be a girl and a farmer.

Like you, I am a girl and I too grew up on a farm.

Like you, I wondered what I wanted to be growing up. When I was a little girl, I spent most of my spare time on my grandparents’ merino sheep farm in New Zealand. There was no place I would rather be – so I stayed and worked on my family’s farm, for as long as I could.

When my now 94-year-old grandmother was young – she was a farmer too. A long time ago, in the 1940s, with thousands of others, she was part of the “Land Army”. This was a special group of farmers, and they were all girls too. They were actually called ‘Land Girls’ who helped to produce food during a period when times were tough.

My grandmother was the one that inspired me to not only follow my dreams but dream big.

Growing up, I continued to help out on farm and I also went to university. And at one point, I set myself a goal of leading a company, somewhat an ambitious dream!

Today, I work for a farm insurer called Achmea. I am proud to continue to work in farming and lend hand to other farmers. When something unexpected happens on farm, it is our job to keep farmers farming – so they can get on with the job of producing fresh food and fibre for families around the world.

It is a pretty important job to look after our farmers. But thankfully I have a lot of other women – and men too of course – helping me to keep farmers farming.

Like you, and so many other amazing girls and women in farming, I am truly living my dream.

I hope you save this letter and all the other messages and videos you have received, so that if the doubts come back about whether you can be a girl and a farmer, you know you can truly be all you ever want to be.

Whatever path you choose to follow, it will be an amazing journey for you and also those watching, including me. The world is full of possibilities.

Dream big, Sylvie!

Kind regards

Emma Thomas
Chief Executive Officer
Achmea Australia