Women in Drinks Western Australia held its inaugural event this week featuring Fremantle Dockers AFLW Captain Kara Donnellan and her partner and teammate Ebony Antonio.
"Navigating new ground" was an inspirational evening at Optus Stadium, which focussed on both women's career stories and the importance of believing in yourself.
Donnellan and Antonio offered tips and tactics on overcoming barriers in male dominated industries and their learnings on how they and other women are navigating their way through the competitive world of AFL.
Both women noted that while they grew up loving AFL, they had to fight hard for the opportunity to play professionally. Even today, they are forced to juggle training and playing with having full-time jobs to support their dream.
Women in Drinks WA Chapter Council member Jenny Kollman said: "There was a great vibe on the night, as it's the first time something like this had been organised for the local drinks industry.
"I'd say at least 50% of those in the room were asking when our next event would be!"
As one guest noted: "I enjoyed attending the event and thought the guest speakers were relevant. I really liked the inclusion of men on the night. It's about empowering them to be more supportive and inclusive too. I have been to a few events aimed at women and unfortunately, the majority of them come across as women vs men instead of working together. This is an event I would recommend others to. Congratulations!"
Kollman also revealed that when she was on the road the next day - as Business Development Executive with Lion - a bottle shop manager mentioned he'd heard there was great event for the drinks industry the night before, not realising she had been one of the organisers.
The Women in Drinks Council is made up of women from all of the major drinks businesses operating in Australia today and has grown to include state chapters, a mentoring program and networking events featuring inspiring speakers from both within and outside the industry.
The state chapters provide professional education opportunities, inspire with industry role models and encourage women to create an active network.
Members of the WA Chapter Council are Jenny Kollman, Lion; Kathrine DeHavilland, Treasury Wine Estates; Rebecca Lauchlan, CUB; Emma Newman, Moët Hennessy; and Raelene Harris, Liquor Barons.
Western Australia Chair Emilia Simonin noted: "Our focus is to raise awareness and commitment of leaders and influencers in the drinks industry on the benefits, enablers and barriers to diversity in their workplace to create change by 2020.
"We are passionate about inspiring women to join and stay in the drinks industry. Critical to this is supporting women to grow their careers in the drinks industry.
"A highly connected industry provides enormous benefits for career progression and cultural change."
If you'd like to know more about Women in Drinks and be alerted to its events in Western Australia, click here.
You can also contact Emilia, who is Category Development & Insights Manager at Moët Hennessy Australia, on firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to register for Women in Drinks updates.