A survey of 400 women in the dairy industry reveals that they see sexism as the single biggest barrier to reaching senior positions.
The survey, carried out on behalf of the Dairy Women's Network, looked at what level of involvement women have on the farm.
The network's general manager, Lynda Clark, says the results show women take part in decision-making and setting goals for the business, but are less involved at an operational level.
Ms Clark says a third of those surveyed singled out sexism as the single biggest barrier to working in the industry, and many feel undervalued and underutilised outside the farm.
She says this is particularly evident at the highest level, with women largely absent from dairy company boards.
The network needs to continue efforts to ensure women are better recognised and valued across all levels of the industry, she says.