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By Archie Rose Staff, BanksmeadowISSUE #030 UNITED WE SHINE | Community

Why Gender Equality & Diversity Is Critical To Bettering Everything - Including Spirits and Drinks.

To mark International Women’s Day 2022 we asked the Archie Rose team why they feel it’s critical that we continue working together to attract more women to a still under-represented distilling and spirits industry and to sustain and grow the fight for gender equality and diversity generally.

Keira Scurry, Assistant Brand Manager: Representation is everything, it's never been more important for young people to look to any industry and see themselves represented in a meaningful way. Women and non-binary folk have the capacity to make a huge contribution to the spirits industry and should be celebrated as such.

Jonathan Liu, Archie Rose Bar & Cellar Door Venue Manager: Women are often the primary consumers in spirits; so by having more women in the industry there will be more opportunities for women to converse and learn about the products and the industry on a broader level.

Silvia Segato, Spirits Blender: Different people with different experience, background and different points of view will contribute to business as much as to society. Gender diversity and equality in the workplace is something incredibly important and unfortunately in some industries still underestimated. Cultural perspective and balance will benefit creativity, strength, innovation and productivity in both short and long term. Here in Australia we are seeing more and more women participating in the distilling and brewing business, a clear example that this is not "just a man's job", women too can do it and be very successful at it. I am glad to be part of this industry and work alongside many strong and inspiring women that are shining everyday!

Kirsten Kayne, Procurement Manager: I think in Australia we are super lucky to be able to look around the industry and see a growing number of owners, distillers, blenders, makers and drinkers that are phenomenal women. The incredible ladies of spirit like Carlie Dyer, Lisa Truscott, Joey Tai, Dervilla McGowan, Alex Dahlenburg, Bree Atwood, Ren Butler & Brooke Hayman to name just a few are constantly inspiring me in my growth, sharing knowledge and more than a few drams. I'm so thankful for the talents and passion that each of them has, which gives me motivation to keep pushing forward. While there is a journey ahead, we couldn't ask for better role models and I look forward to being part of the spirits industry into the future, following the lead of these ladies.

Dave Withers, Master Distiller: The best forms of technical troubleshooting (something we are constantly faced with in spirits production) involves group think or at the very least drawing information from many sources. Having different individuals with different perspectives is really important to solving problems. I find for instance that there is a tendency for groups with women to be less hierarchical and more egalitarian. There is a certain inclusiveness that happens in diverse groups that allows novel opinions and thoughts to be given more credence. In my experience gender diverse groups perform better and are better environments to work in. Also, and I hate to say it, but women tend to have better palates than men (they can smell and taste more accurately). It's not always the case of course but often it is true. Adding Ev and Silvie, our two new blenders to the team, is therefore a phenomenal addition for us.

Amelia Baddeley, Assistant Trade Marketing Manager: Without gender equality and diversity - the distilling and spirits industry risks the loss of diversity in voices, life experiences, opinions and skills. The diversity in thought and representation in business is what leads to innovative thinking and success. It matters to see other people like you succeed but it also matters to be surrounded by colleagues from all walks of life to create more empathetic, understanding and collaborative work cultures that all people want to be a part of including women. It's impossible to not remember and admire the late Notorious RBG on International Women's Day "Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception."

Marty Shoppee, Operations Manager: I think it helps with having diversity in problem solving.

Victoria Tulloch, Head of Marketing: Relentlessly striving to offer all people the ability to maximise their full social capital and achieve financial equality and professional fulfilment is one of the best opportunities we have to resolve some of society’s greatest inequities and injustices. It also gives kids the best opportunity to be cared for and to learn from their parents equally as a safeguard for enduring social progress. So employ more women!

Nick Baxter, Brand Advocacy Manager: Quite simply, because no matter what gender you are, we all have a nose for assessing aroma, eyes for judging how a spirit looks and a palate for how spirits taste. So there is no reason why there shouldn't be more women (and people of all genders) in the male-dominated distilling and spirits industry. It makes complete sense to have diversity within your team, something I think is very well demonstrated at Archie Rose by our spirits sensory panel (currently paused due to COVID) that includes a wide range of people from across the organisation - not only the distilling and sensory team.

Will Edwards, Founder: One of the things I love about the spirits industry, and particularly the Australian spirits industry, is the diversity of products that are created - which I feel is in part due to the lack of legal definitions/restrictions on the way we can produce spirits, and in part just reflective of the innovative, boundary-challenging attitude of Australian producers. At the moment however, this diversity is not reflected in the people who produce these spirits, and I feel that we're missing out on a massive opportunity here, as with greater diversity within the industry we could see the current levels of creativity and innovation pushed to new heights - and at the end of the day, in my opinion, that's what sustains an industry.

Bek Murray, Digital Marketing & Content Production Coordinator: It’s so important to move away from the dated idea that gender is indicative of skill set. We are all consumers of this industry in some capacity, so it just makes sense to include a myriad of perspectives and preferences in order to create contemporary products. The very idea of diversity and what it represents in terms of possibility should be exciting, provoking and celebrated.

Rachel Stone, ECommerce & Digital Marketing Manager: Gender and diversity equality benefits everyone. If women have equal influence as a purchasing consumer, it only makes sense to have equal influence as a producer of a product - it's a no brainer. As women, we are often asked to 'Step Up' or 'Lean In', which can only be done with the support from all genders - it is everyone's responsibility.