25 January, 2020

Lucy Nandi addresses WID event

Here's what Women in drinks Co-Chair Lucy Nandi had to say as she opened the 2017 Women in drinks International Women's Day event:

Today we celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – and make a commitment to accelerating gender parity in the Australian drinks industry.

The theme of International Women's Day 2017, is to be #BeBoldForChange. With the World Economic Forum predicting the gender gap won't close entirely until 2186 IWD is an important catalyst and vehicle for driving greater change for women; Each one of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence to accelerate gender parity. Through purposeful collaboration, we can help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to economies the world over.

Today isn’t about selling the benefits of diversity and inclusion - these are already known - but to identify ways in which we can 'build a diversity mindset in the drinks industry' and “bring diversity and inclusion to life”.

So in light of where we sit today – we need to ask ourselves how we make that change?

We are all fully aware of the benefits of a more-balanced industry. Our challenge is to turn the intent into action.

The Australian drinks industry is a lively, fun and dynamic industry.

It is cushioned in moments of relaxation and celebration. It is an industry that attracts people and retains them because of its vibrant reputation and close knit network resulting in many becoming ‘lifers’.

Despite this reputation the drinks industry indexes well below Australian norms for female representation at entry, middle and senior management. The industry has been built over the years on strong relationships often forged with publicans and licensees. Deals were struck on golf courses, pubs and bars - many which naturally leant themselves to the male domain.

Our industry network is acutely aware of imbalanced situation we are now in and is primed for change. The Women in Drinks council was formed 3 years ago with overwhelming support of all member companies. Our mission is to educate, inspire and support the drinks industry to increase gender diversity and inclusion.

The three elements of our mission support each other.

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 to create change by 2020.

We intend to Inspire women to join and stay in the drinks industry.  Critical to this, is supporting women to grow their careers in the drinks industry.

Over the past 12 months we have celebrated the appointment of Serendis as our industry partner to facilitate our mentoring and education program.

We established a pilot to create a state chapter, led in Melbourne with a sell out event held at Dan Murphy’s with Christine Khor MD of Chorus Executive headlining this “personal branding” event. It’s what lies ahead for 2017 that is most exciting.

Today we have 450 strong, successful and aspirational people in this room. You are the people to lead this dialogue – you are the agents for change.

The inaugural Women in drinks Mentoring Program 2017 is now live, backed by ten companies from within the industry we have 28 pairs participating. The structured Mentoring Program for the Australian drinks industry is aimed specifically at women looking to progress their careers to leadership level.

The six-month experience will include interactive workshops, facilitated group discussions, six to eight meetings between mentors and their mentees, plus a panel discussion where mentors answer mentees' questions on career highlights, leadership development and gender diversity

We want to help women grow their careers – and through the program will focus on:

  • Building an internal profile
  • Overcoming risk aversion and embracing self promotion
  • Developing networks relationships and seeking sponsors
  • Strengthening confidence at a strategic vs technical level
  • Identifying priorities

In addition, to helping mentees address these challenges the programme also helps raise our mentors awareness of how they, as leaders of this industry, need to help change the culture.

This year will also see the continuation of Melbourne WID Chapter beyond pilot stage. Chapters will be established in Sydney, Adelaide and Perth to provide professional education opportunities, inspire with industry role models and encourage women to create an active network. Each chapter will hold up to three events per annum, aligned to each year’s annual theme of IWD, this year’s being be bold for change. The first Melbourne event confirmed for 2017 is scheduled for later this month, and will feature a career journey Q&A with Kellie Barnes, an amazing woman who has successfully transitioned from a career in IT to a role as Sales Director within CUB.

Today we launch our first major fundraising initiative with our new partner ANZGOG, the Australian and New Zealand Gynocological Oncology Group. This is the only national not-for-profit organisation dedicated to gynaecological cancer research.

ANGOG have certainly been bold for change in their approach with the “save the box” campaign.  We welcome from this amazing body today Alison Evans and Julijana Trifunovic, along with ANZGOG Ambassadors Fashion designer Charlie Brown, and Gold medal winning Olympian and cervical cancer survivor Jana Pittman.

Gynacological cancer doesn’t just affect the women afflicted with it; these women are daughter’s of fathers, partners of men, sisters of brothers and mothers of sons.

Our goal as Women in Drinks is to donate $50,000 over three years TO ANGOG and I know will want to contribute to this initiative.

Today’s event has been designed on your feedback. You asked for out-of-industry inspiration, industry specific discussion and then the opportunity to continue the discussion in a networking style forum. I trust you will find the day educational and inspiring - both on a personal and professional level.

I thank you all for supporting our International Women’s Day event – and encourage you to embrace the empowerment of women in our industry today and every day – and commit to making a difference.