Women in Drinks is still on a high following the success of its fourth annual International Women's Day event last week.
One of the many highlights of the day was hearing Co-Chair Lucy Nandi tell more than 500 attendees at a sold-out event about the mission, goals, achievements and plans for the Council: "The Women in Drinks Council was launched as part of an industry-wide collaboration to attract, retain and develop the careers of women in the drinks industry.
"As a council we are very proud of our achievements in the past year. We bring our vision to life through our three pillars of Inspiration, Education and Support. These three pillars support each other and can be seen in what we delivered in 2017.
"In educating, 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.
"We are pleased to confirm that through sharing our strategy and working with The Drinks Association CEO Georgia Lennon, Chairman Ralph Dunning and the Board are walking the walk, making commitments and taking action.
"The Drinks Board has 26 members and in the last year, four of the new appointments have been made to women."
Women in Drinks celebrates a successful 2017
The past 12 months have been ones of rapid progress for Women in Drinks.
State Chapters were been established in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide and provided nine events across the country.
Inspiring guest speakers included Coles Liquor's Cathi Scarce, CUB's Kellie Barnes and Danni Casey and Stella Stavrou from Treasury Wine Estates. Topics covered ranged from the changing face of the Australian drinks industry, the effectiveness of targets, career development, the value of mentoring and networking skills.
"The purpose of our State Chapters is to provide professional education opportunities, inspire with industry role models and encourage women to create active networks," Nandi said. "The format was varied with breakfast sessions and evening events.
"We had a wide range of speakers from within the industry sharing their experiences and knowledge, we had external experts providing advice on personal branding and networking and we secured inspirational speakers from outside our industry from the media, sporting and political worlds sharing stories to inspire and educate our guests."
The council also launched its pilot mentoring program facilitated by Serendis. The program attracted 58 participants, 29 mentees and 29 mentors, from 10 drinks organisations.
"The evalution of the program found that it was well received by the industry and highly rated by the partipants," Nandi said.
Women in Drinks also enjoyed a successful partnership with its charity partner ANZGOG (the Australian and New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group), with the goal of donating $50,000 over three years to the group. By the end of 2017, the total delivered was already $30,000, with an additional $22,000+ raised at the International Women's Day event last week.
Plans for 2018
Women in Drinks intends to expand on its calendar in 2018 to deliver even more events to its members.
International Women's Day event was an amazing way to kick off the year, with Turia Pitt (pictured main with Nandi) as guest Keynote speaker. It was her first public appearance since giving birth to her first child late last year and she shared her intensely personal story of resilience in the face of extreme adversity.
She told the room that "if you believe in yourself you can do anything."
The event also included a panel discussion moderated by Women in Drinks Councillor Sally Byrne on the quest for gender equality in business, focussing on why ‘trying’ is no longer good enough.
Panellists were Dr Terrance Fitzsimmons, Managing Director of the Australian Gender Equality Council (AGEC), Head of Research at the Workplace Gender Equality Agency and Director of the Centre for Research into Gender Equality in the Workplace within the Business, Economics and Law Faculty of the University of Queensland; Troy Roderick (above), Executive Ambassador for Catalyst, a global not-for-profit that helps businesses build workplaces that support gender equality; and Ilana Atlas (above), Chair of Coca-Cola Amatil.
Looking to the rest of the year, Nandi noted: "We are also working with the Diversity&Inclusion@Drinks Council and will be co-hosting The Drinks Association networking breakfast in June, where the event will focus on inclusion and diversity.
"We will also continue to run our core programs - Mentoring and State Chapters.
"By facilitating impactful conversations for male and female leaders in the industry as well as delivering high quality leadership and mentoring workshops, the Women in Drinks mentoring program leverages diversities of thought and profiles towards developing an inclusive culture.
"In addition to helping mentees the program also helps raise our mentor's awareness of how they, as leaders in this industry, need to help change the culture."
"This year's Women In Drinks Mentoring Program was launched on February 23 with the HR partners of the participating companies, with the program due to commence for mentees and their mentors on May 10."
The Women in Drinks Chapter calendar for 2018 has been mapped out, with Nandi saying she was pleased to confirm that the first WA event in Perth has been scheduled for June.
Coming up next is a sold-out event featuring Coles Liquor's Cathi Scarce - "An Unconventional Career Story" - in Melbourne in late March, and a Queensland event focussed on developing your personal brand in April.
To keep up with the latest plans and events for Women In Drinks, join in the conversation, debate and share best practices, please follow these social channels:
LinkedIn: Women in Drinks (group)