The Critical Need for Personal Commitment
Last Saturday I had the tremendous honor to offer closing comments at the first-ever Bâtonnage Forum, the sold-out, gritty, stir-the-lees conference in Napa that was convened by the indomitable Stevie Stacionis and her team.
More than 330 women and men gathered for straight talk on implicit bias; discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, class and age; negotiation tactics; and filling the pipeline with more qualified women. Panelists, and the audience, spoke with frankness and courage and it was, I think, refreshing to hear a conversation that has advanced this far.
We are still here — again, and still — talking about gender-based inequalities of income and power within the wine industry.
Even with all of the energy, intelligence, skills and capabilities of the people who assembled for even that one event, we are still here, talking.
Consider this: at the rate we’re going, the gender-based pay imbalance we’re seeing today won’t be corrected for decades. Some of us – who were in the audience at Bâtonnage and who are reading this post right now – won’t live to see the correction at all.
Think about that.
No, really. Think about it.
Now think about what we can do differently, so that the needle is moved in a way that it hasn’t been moved yet, or often enough.
I had some suggestions for how to go about this. Like every speaker at Bâtonnage, our comments were recorded and you’ll be able to hear the whole thing for yourself. For the moment let me bottom line it for you:
I think it comes down to personal agency, to shifting more focus on what “I” can do.
We are past (so very far past) the time of waiting for someone else to make a difference. It’s on us now, and by “us” I mean each of us individually.
Don’t get me wrong – we absolutely need the “we” of collaboration and working together as teams toward shared goals.
In addition to that, however, I think that it’s the individual commitment, person by person, that’s going to be the difference between progress and status quo.
Without it, without a lot more of it, we’re still going to be “here,” year after year after year.
How do we do this?
Start by identifying what it is that you, individually and in a way that’s authentic to you, will devote your energy to, on behalf of evening out the inequalities.
Need some suggestions? Here are a few that I'm personally aware of:
- Advocating for more women at the table.
- Practicing confidence for yourself and others.
- Drawing attention to pay discrepancies.
- Calling out inappropriate behavior.
- And becoming much more comfortable talking about money and financial performance.
Your commitment, day in and day out, is what will make the difference.
What you choose to commit to matters less than the fact that you commit.
By committing, you join a whole lineage of people who, historically, have made contributions that have helped.
There’s actually a whole army of these people. Some of their contributions happened in some ways, day to day to day. Some of their contributions were monumental and are recorded in history books.
But all of them, every single one, is standing behind you, offering their strength to your own efforts.
They’re all there, just over our shoulders. When I’m struggling with something I like to imagine some of them, who have fought similar battles, stepping closer so that they’re literally at my back.
What can I do, to stand behind you? Please let me know.
NOTE FROM BECK: The reality is that this work is on all of us to do, and to make the commitment to doing. No matter your gender, age, experience level or beliefs, we need you to make a difference. It's not easy, but it is that simple. And we are right here beside, behind and in front of you to make the leap. Are you with us? We're here to help.
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.
Amy Navor, Brand Director
Artesa Vineyards & Winery and Anna de Codorníu Cava, The Codorníu Raventós Group.
Years In Industry:
15+ years. I've been in the wine, beer and spirits industry my entire career, since my first college internship as an External Affairs intern at big global wine company.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
Making working out a top priority is often the biggest challenge. I am currently finishing my MBA, so my free time is heavily scheduled and often I become so enthralled in a project, it leaves minimal time for a workout. If anyone has any "outside the box" tips for me I would love to connect.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
Adventure + Friends + Cooking. In the winter I am drawn to the mountains through my passion for skiing, from dropping in on a steep peak to gliding through fresh powder. In the summer I try to spend as much of my weekend time outside near the water, whether it's a beach trail hike or an attempt to paddle out.
I am an introverted extrovert, so I need "Amy time" to recharge, replenish and regroup daily. Living in San Francisco my friends have become my family. I have a group text with two of my dearest gal pals which is a great way to stay connected given our busy travel schedules.
My kitchen is my sanctuary. I enjoy the art of home cooking, feeding my friends and exploring disruptive wine pairings (Cava + Young Manchego + Mortadella = key to my soul). For me, healthy cooking means sourcing from local, seasonal ingredients, so if I ever invite you over for pasta night, the pasta will be freshly homemade. My weekly routine includes 1/2 meal prep and 1/2 simple and healthy recipes that I can whip up on the fly.
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.
This post by Cathy reveals some behind-the-scenes perspective on speaking at Bâtonnage last weekend.“Sooner or later in your life as an entrepreneur, you'll be called upon to speak publicly about your experience. Sooner or later, too, you'll be called upon to speak publicly on a topic that has nothing directly to do with your company's work.”
Creating Compelling Trade Events – SevenFifty Daily
“Trade marketing is an essential part of the promotional equation for brands, distributors, and regional organizations seeking to increase their share of retail shelf space and on-premise menu placements.”
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.
TexSOM Conference in Las Colinas, TX August 11 to 13 (Rebecca)
México Selection by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, MX August 7 to 11 (Cathy)
Guests on NPR’s The Four Top Podcast with Kat Cole, in Portland, August 15 (Rebecca and Cathy)
Folio Fine Wine Partners Portfolio Tasting in New York, September 18 (Rebecca)
Business of Wine & Food Tourism Conference in Cape Town, October 17 (Cathy)
Australian Women in Wine Awards in Sydney November 16 (Rebecca)
Wine2Wine in Verona, Italy November 26 and 27 (Rebecca)