A new inclusive network has been created for women in wine, called Women and Revolution (WaR).
Now accepting members from across Australia, WaR aims to grow the next generation of women in wine by creating an inclusive space that encourages personal and professional growth, community and connection.
The association welcomes all women across all sectors of the wine industry, from viticulture and winemaking, to distribution, retail and hospitality, and also education and journalism. Though its focus is on wine, WaR also says it will be looking to collaborate with other sectors of the drinks and hospitality industries too.
Created by a collection of like-minded women that recognised the common barriers they faced in the industry, WaR began as a series of informal dinners around Sydney. As numbers swelled, the founding members realised the potential for an official platform for women to connect about issues such as gender inequality in the drinks industry.
One of these co-founding women was WaR President, Bridget Raffal, who said, “Whenever we got together, the conversation would naturally centre around barriers we’d encountered, and we how we could go about dismantling them.
“We identified that women are often locked out of roles that facilitate growth, education and networking opportunities. You can’t get the job if you don’t have the education and training, and you can’t get the education and training if you don’t have the job.
“We’re hoping to break that cycle by offering education and coaching so that women learn how to speak with authority and how to occupy space in the conversation. Nurture confidence, forge connections and empower women through shared experience.”
Year long memberships with WaR focuses activity on four main areas:
- Education: including masterclasses on all things wine and topics to inspire more confidence like debate and public speaking
- Coaching: with workshops on workplace issues like salary negotiation, work-life balance and how to lead inclusively
- Community: featuring events where members can connect, share ideas and have a good time
- Buddy program: with a mentorship program that connects younger members with more experienced leaders, to foster friendship and growth.
“We’ll be holding targeted masterclasses around hard-to-access areas like Bordeaux, Burgundy and Barolo along with coaching sessions from experienced members on how to confidently discuss wine in an informed manner. We’ll organise blind tastings and training for those who want to participate in competitions and hold sessions around how to navigate and be empowered in the workplace in an industry that demands so much,” Raffal explained.
A WaR year-long membership is $30 and gives unlimited access to the events and resources described above. The first Sydney events are set to roll out by the end of this year, with more locations to follow in 2022.