Fonterra is facing the heat from social media users after planning to hold an International Women’s Day panel with only male speakers.
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Fonterra has found itself in hot water on Twitter over the diversity of its speakers on an International Women's Day panel event.

The panel will be talking on “breaking the bias”.

Since the photo of the line-up of the male speakers was posted on twitter, the co-operative has been facing a barrage of criticisms.

One tweet says the event “reminds me of the time when Muller (former Opposition leader Todd Muller) introduced his new front bench and the only Maori on it were Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett”.

Another tweet claimed that it seems rather at odds with their statement to the Ministry of Women.

“Fonterra’s board has signed up to a 50-50 male-female split at leadership level, it’s CEO refuses to speak on panels unless they are diverse so as to have fullness of discussions,” the tweet claims.

Another tweet questioned what was wrong was Fonterra.

“So many amazing, innovative rural women NZ: It’s not the 50’s,” it said.

Fonterra’s twitter account jumped in to explain, but the criticisms continue.

“We know this doesn’t look great and want to share a bit more context,” Fonterra says.

“We have a range of events lined up for International Women’s Day. We have inspiring females sharing their stories and this panel of male allies talking about the important role males play in helping to overcome bias in the workplace. Both views are equally as important to achieve change. We’re really committed to improving gender diversity.”

One twitter user replied to Fonterra’s post: “As a bit of context from a woman I don’t really want to listen to a panel of men congratulating themselves for being good allies. Give them their cookies and get some women in.”

With calving underway, dairy farmers are being urged to plan ahead to combat feed shortages.

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