The Article That Started It All - A Balanced Glass Launches
Coming away from the 2017 Women of the Vine & Spirits Global Summit, I was inspired that we could openly discuss the challenges we face as women, around gender equality, glass ceilings, and career negotiation, but also frustrated that no-one talked about alcohol itself. What it does, how we relate to it, and how we can navigate an industry intrinsically soaked in it. So I wrote an opinion piece for Meininger’s International Wine Business in the hopes to start a conversation. The article spurred comments, conversations, calls, texts, and emails, indicating I had hit a nerve – and a topic that needed further exploration.
The gauntlet was now thrown down, and not only did the WOTVS Board hear mine, and many voices, a few days ago I found myself wearing a Speaker badge, and on the official billing with my fledgling business A Balanced Glass - a forum for beverage alcohol industry professionals on how to survive and thrive in the business we love.
I prepared and presented the inaugural Mindful Monday workshop on “Breathing and Meditation for Better Business” with my good friend and colleague Cathy Huyghe. We also created a Refresh Lounge for the conference – a quiet space of respite intended for meditation, mindful reflection, a spot of restorative yoga, or escape from the busy noise of a motivational conference. Above all, we opened up a dialogue beyond the normal, swirl, sniff and spit.
The response to both the Workshop and lounge was overwhelmingly positive and thanks to Cathy, we are offering a 30 Day Practice to share daily tips, ideas and teachings on meditation, yoga, breath work, life hacks, tools and tips for surviving and thriving in the wine, spirits and beer business. You are welcome to join us at: 30 Day Practice
My bigger objective and hope for A Balanced Glass is that you will lend your voice, share your thoughts and get involved. If my discussions over the last year have taught me anything, it is that this is a conversation we need to have. Not only for those coming into the profession, but also those who have experienced first hand the ups, downs, trials and tribulations, and how we can make it a more open, accepting and better place to work.
So let’s look out for each other. Share ideas. Remove the stigma of being a professional and not drinking. Appreciate that we don’t need to “hit rock bottom” to cut back. And that an early exit from the industry may be the healthiest option of all for ourselves and those around us. Spotlight those in the industry who are showing the way through moderation and balance.
25 years in the wine business has taught me that we have an incredible global community of hard working, honest, accomplished and adventurous professionals committed to excellence. So let’s tap that brain trust and see what we can do as a collective to improve this industry we love, so we can all stay well for the long haul. Thank you .