By Rebecca Harris

Three of Sydney’s top female bartenders have formed the first Australian bartending community exclusively for women.

Launching tomorrow (Sep 30), at Tokonoma in Surry Hills, the Women in Hospitality Society (WHS) is the brainchild of Eau-de-Vie’s Elle Wormald, The Victoria Room’s Jess Arnott and ivy’s Mary-Anne Macafee, who recognised the lack of a formal support network in what is typically a male-dominated industry.

“I think that working in hospitality you are generally aware of the 'boys club' and a certain mentality that comes from having an industry which is predominately male,” said Wormald.

“We just want to offer something that appeals to women in the same position but also offers greater opportunities in terms of networking, mentoring and training while still being social and having fun.”

Free to join, the WHS has so far received a positive response from the industry, with the launch to be staffed entirely by male bartenders, all of whom are donating their time for the cause.

The WHS will continue to meet quarterly at different venues across Sydney.

Wormald said that the most important goal for the WHS is to increase confidence for women who work in the industry.

“It can be intimidating for women and it can be hard for them,” she said. “I have been lucky not to experience this to a large extent, but I know plenty of women who have… The WHS is about supporting one another and learning from one another, not in a 'strength in numbers' way, but as a community. If we can push the profile of women working in hospitality, while still enjoying ourselves, I think the industry as a whole will be better for it.”

For more information, email:


The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *