What to Do When Your Heart is Out of Balance: Facing Inequality in Our Industry
A Balanced Glass? These past few weeks have been a lot more about a balanced heart.
Here’s what threw things a little off-kilter for me in the heart department: The SevenFifty Daily post about the Career and Salary Survey Report.
It isn’t that the findings come as shocking news; most of us are well aware of chronic issues globally such as equal pay for women and balanced representation for women and people of color at the executive levels.
But being aware of these issues “out there” is very different than having those issues come knocking at our own front door. They are no longer a disembodied “something out there.” They put on clothes you recognize. We now have no choice than to face them, eye to eye.
That was my personal response to the report and, let me tell you, facing the evidence was dis-heart-ening.
It also threw me out of balance. I feel like if you’re paying attention these days, you’re bound to be out of balance.
So, community of A Balanced Glass. Now what? What’s our saving grace? What’s going to keep us in the game and restore our balance?
I can practically hear your response.
“It’s the people of wine that keep us sane and keep us in it!”
Yes. The people. It’s true.
I’ve just returned from South Africa where I met more of these saving-grace people. Rosa Kruger. André Morgenthal. André Shearer. (Google them, please, in case you don’t already know them.) I get what they’re doing intellectually but boy, they rattled some things deeper down too.
These people, their work, is a saving grace. And heart-replenishing, to boot.
And yet I wonder if anyone else is getting to the point of not-enough. When even the people! Even the saving-grace, heart-replenishing work of the people of wine isn’t enough to compensate for the glare of such problematics as the report released this week has indicated.
I’m teetering off balance at the edge of that. It’s a place I don’t want to be at all, and definitely not for long.
So here’s what I’ve been doing next, to try to restore some balance.
I’m turning to face the reality of the desire to walk away from the glare. Not just facing it but staring it down, and getting deep in there and wrestling with it and figuring out what it is – what it really is – that tips me so off kilter.
It will take some time to do the work of this but here is what’s become clear already.
I’m thrown off-balance by the mismatch between an industry that I love so much, that is also chronically underpaying women and not advancing women and people of color at nearly the pace it should.
I’m thrown off-balance because “It’s the people!” and “It’s the lifestyle!” somehow become code for “It’s okay to be paid less for your work!” There’s a lack of logic here that baffles me.
I’m thrown off-balance that the stress levels of working in the industry have been reported at such high levels. One in every four respondents to the survey reported a stress level at 6 or 7 out of ten.
What is my personal plan to counter-balance these things, and reclaim some equilibrium?
First, recognize that feeling off-balance happens at exactly the same moment that I forget the power that’s in my own hands. So I recalibrate and redirect my attention to what I can personally do to improve the situation in a way that’s authentic and true.
That’s first, I think. Remember the power that’s in our own hands, and act on it. This is the most impactful step I know, and it brings me back, closer to balance, quickly.
Remembering the power in our own hands is something we can all do. Acting on it, and how to act on it, are individual choices of course. But what’s most important is that you do that thing that is yours to do, today and tomorrow and the day after that, even when it’s just you and no one’s looking.
Taking action in an individually authentic way. That’s what to do when our hearts are out of balance.
I hope it helps, and I hope you’ll share some tips of your own.
PS Another report, similar to the Career and Salary Survey Report, that is well worth your time to consider: Women in the Workplace 2018, published by McKinsey & Company in partnership with Lean In. The message? "Women are doing their part. Now companies need to do their part, too."
Meet the Tribe!
Our community is only as strong as the company we keep, and here we meet some of the folks who make our profession so dynamic.
Senior Account Executive at Colangelo & Partners Public Relations
Years In Industry:
Three years. I had an extremely boring career in law back home in Iceland, so I decided to make a change and pursued a M.Sc. degree in PR and Corporate Communication at NYU, securing my job with Colangelo & Partners Public Relations shortly after graduating. I was completely new to the professional world of wine, but three years later I am in love with the wine industry, its extremely hard working people and the constant learning opportunities I find myself immersed in.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
Balance. Whether that means balancing out my food and wine intake with green juices, milk thistles, prayer and/or exercise, or carving out time to shut my brain off - I think it is vital for longevity in this business. Finding your balance is a personal pursuit, there's no formula that works for all but you can certainly learn from those around you and adapt what works for you into your daily life.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
I try to exercise 4-5 times a week. I used to hate exercise with fervor, but thankfully that has changed and as a result I've become more ambitious about maintaining healthier personal protocols in regards to sleep, food quality, and alcohol consumption.
I also believe its no less important to sometimes take the pressure off, and throw the rules out the window. So whether the day or mood call for a generous pour of that Champagne you were saving for a "special occasion" or just binge-watching the purest form of entertainment that is The Great British Baking Show - let yourself have it and get back on the horse tomorrow. In addition to the mind, a fine wine is a terrible thing to waste.
You can connect with Stefan on Instagram or Twitter
What We’re Reading:
There's no shortage of wine stories and media inundating our IN Boxes. Here's what has piqued our interest this week.
Is Gratitude the Secret of Happiness? The Guardian (US Edition)
“Gratitude was one of the most powerful variables that personality psychologists could find when it came to predicting wellbeing, over and above most known factors, from wealth and health to other personality traits such as optimism.”
Five Ways Mindfulness Meditation is Good for Your Health. By Jill Suttie, Greater Good Magazine
"Let me count the ways that mindfulness meditation is good for our health: it decreases risks of heart disease and cognitive decline, improves immune response, and reduces cell aging and psychological pain."
Let’s Meet Up!
As work life has it, we are traveling over the next few months and would love to see you. Check out details on the Let's Meet Up! page over at A Balanced Glass.
MC - Wine Communicator of the Year Awards in Sydney, Nov. 6 (Rebecca)
A Balanced Glass in McLaren Vale, Nov. 13 (Rebecca)
Speaker at Australian Women in Wine Symposium in Sydney, Nov. 16 (Rebecca)
Co-presenter at Wine2Wine in Verona, Italy, Nov 26 to 27 (Rebecca)
Guest Lecturer at INSEEC in Bordeaux, Jan. 21 – 26 (Cathy)