Food & Drink

Women of the Vine & Spirits launches diversity series

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Membership organisation Women of the Vine & Spirits has unveiled an online series of talks that sees male executives discuss their commitments to equality.


Women of the Vine & Spirits aims to highlight the importance of male allies through the series

The new leadership programme, called Breaking Barriers, will feature workshops with male executives from the wine and spirits industry, who will discuss becoming a male ally and their commitments to diversity and inclusion.

The series, which will kick off on Thursday (29 April), was created in response to a round table hosted by the organisation, called Women of the Vine & Spirits Connects: Male Allies Roundtable. Following this initial discussion, the organisation said it was clear that this was a topic ‘that needed to be a continuous conversation’.

Deborah Brenner, founder and CEO of Women of the Vine & Spirits, said: “Diversity, equity, and inclusion is not a ‘she’ thing or a ‘he’ thing, it is a ‘we’ thing, which is why since the inception of Women of the Vine & Spirits in 2015, we have engaged men to actively participate year-round in the organisation.

“We know that change starts at the top and that the alcohol beverage industry is still primarily led by men. Together, we can accelerate the pace to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive industry for all to thrive.”

The first instalment will take place on 29 April and will include David Dearie, president and CEO of Ste Michelle Estates; Dan Heller, EVP of sales at Ste Michelle Estates; and Melody Zhang, chief human resources officer at Ste Michelle Estates.

Later workshops are scheduled for 16 June, 18 August, 13 October and 15 December. The organisation hopes that the series will become a permanent fixture.

The series is open to all Women of the Vine & Spirits corporate members and their teams. To find out more and register, visit

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