FOUNDATION CREATED TO SUPPORT WOMEN IN WHISKY AROUND THE WORLD
Our managing partner Jennifer Robertson has been appointed to the board.
This International Women’s Day (8th March), OurWhisky has launched a non-profit foundation to support women in the global whisky industry and our Founder and Managing Partner Jennifer Robertson has been appointed to the board.
“This is the world’s first non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting, recognising and empowering professional women in whisky across the globe, while advocating for a more inclusive and diverse industry. It’s a privilege to join the team and to help to represent and support the fast changing pace and face of the whisky world.
"At SPEY we’ve worked really hard to represent this through our work- not just because it makes business sense, but because it’s the reality. Since the agency's inception five years ago we have constantly challenged our clients to be more diverse not just in terms of representing women, but whisky drinkers from all corners of the globe, whether first time explorers, cocktail lovers or experts young and old. I look forward to continuing this work through the Foundation with Becky.”
The Foundation will offer qualification and internship schemes, a mentorship programme plus seminars and workshops, all designed to help women successfully progress within the industry. On top of the educational benefits, an annual summit and awards will be held, showcasing key speakers and industry leaders, providing the opportunity for in-person networking and recognising talent.
The Foundation will also give a voice to women in the industry through its new online magazine, The Cut, with features focusing on careers advice, diversity and inclusion initiatives, interviews and much more.
The not-for-profit organisation has been launched by OurWhisky founder and whisky expert Becky Paskin, and will be assisted by an advisory board of industry leaders alongside Jennifer including Gráinne Saunders, global marketing manager for Glenfiddich; Tracie Franklin, Spirits Educator and NJAI Distillation Apprentice; and Jennie Noorish, founder of Yellow Shoes consultancy and former director of global communications for Chivas Brothers.
Talking about the Foundation Becky Paskin said: “OurWhisky began in 2018 as a social media movement to champion diversity among whisky drinkers and those within the industry. After four successful years of showcasing the face of the modern whisky drinker and dispelling the spirit’s many myths, it’s time to evolve.
“By working in collaboration with the global whisky community, the OurWhisky Foundation’s aim is to challenge whisky’s outdated gendered image and help women to thrive in their careers.
“This is such an exciting time to be a woman working in whisky, and it’s my ambition that the Foundation will be a positive driver in ensuring the current and next generation reach their potential and be celebrated as part of the wonderful world of whisky.”
The Foundation is now inviting women across the global industry to apply for its mentorship programme. A star-studded line-up of industry leaders with backgrounds spanning areas such as distilling, blending, brand ownership, bartending, ambassadorship, marketing and journalism have already been confirmed as mentors.
They include Dhavall Gandhi, whisky maker at The Lakes, Paul Hletko, founder of FEW Spirits, Louise McGuane, founder of JJ Corry, Simo Simpson, managing director of Milroy’s of Soho, Dawn Davies, head buyer at The Whisky Exchange, Nicola Riske, brand ambassador for The Macallan, Lew Bryson, whisky journalist and author, Ryan Chetiyawardana, founder of Mr Lyan, and Tommie Tardie, owner of Fine and Rare New York.
Whether women are looking to get into distilling and blending, start their own brand or work in a non-production role in whisky, the OurWhisky Foundation’s mentorship programme is an opportunity to start or build on their career and connect with some of the most experienced people in the industry.
The Foundation will also work alongside various stakeholders within the whisky industry, providing diversity and inclusion training and workshops, and collaborating on a variety of meaningful initiatives to support and recognise women in the industry.
Those interested in receiving news and updates about the Foundation’s work can sign up to the newsletter here.
The Foundation also launches alongside OurWhisky’s new subscription club, which has been created to provide a fun and inclusive space for whisky drinkers, regardless of experience. Every month subscribers will receive whisky samples direct to their door to enjoy alongside an expert-led tasting. Members will also receive discounted tickets to exclusive events, tours and tastings. Individuals can sign up to OurWhisky’s subscription club here.