23 January, 2020

Women in Drinks celebrates the power of "paying it forward"

Women in Drinks celebrates the power of "paying it forward"

Mentees and mentors from the 2017 and 2018 Women in Drinks Mentoring Program, as well as recent alumni from Coca-Cola Amatil’s David Gonski Women in Leadership program, joined together last night for a festive gathering in the new Amatil bar, The Exchange.

Women in Drinks councillor Sally Byrne (below) gave an inspiring speech, recalling a moment four years ago that fundamentally changed her.

She attended a lunch with 12 women from organisations such as Qantas, Microsoft and McDonalds. Layne Beachley hosted the event and kicked it off by asking everyone around the table to reveal what they had done in the workplace to support women around them.

“I froze and started sweating as I desperately tried to think of something I could contribute,” Byrne recalled. “What was particularly alarming was that I could think of many examples of women and men who’d helped me out, yet I had given nothing back.

“It was a truly pivotal moment for me and I left that lunch with an ambition beyond just my own career. I’m now driven to contribute in any way I can to help those around me and pay it forward.”

Byrne has since played a major role in Women in Drinks and been a mentor. She also introduced a school holiday program for the children of staff at Amatil.

Additionally, Byrne said "I'm now 'woke' to those around me and driven to contribute in any way I can, both informally and formally."

She added that another personal milestone was Amatil's MD of Alcohol & Coffee, Shane Richardson, "paying it forward" for her and requesting that she become an Alternate Director on The Drinks Association board. 

"Suddenly I was in the company of these - to me - hidden figures of our industry that often as a female in marketing one doesn't cross paths with," she said. "It gave me many more opportunities to play my part in contributing back to the industry." 

Byrne concluded by saying: “So, as you head home tonight, ask yourselves what you are doing to support men and women around you."

Merry Christmas everyone and we look forward to another successful Mentoring Program in 2019. Thank you to Amatil's Nicki Drinkwater for organising the event. 

Here are some photographs from last night:

Women in Drinks is an initiative by The Drinks Association to highlight issues facing women in the workplace, champion opportunities and offer networking events for women working in the drinks industry. It runs an annual Mentoring Program in conjunction with Serendis Leadership Consulting. The Drinks Association is a not-for-profit organisation that offers everything from industry data to targeted forums and a broad spectrum of events, publications and websites, including Drinks Trade, Drinks Bulletin and Drinks Guide. It works to build a stronger, more informed Australian drinks industry by providing commonly required services.