A sell-out crowd of 140 women will gather in Sydney on 17 November to highlight continuing issues with achieving gender equality in the Australian wine industry. They will push for overdue action at the inaugural Australian Women in Wine (AWIW) 2023 National Symposium.
Tickets to the event were snapped up in less than four weeks – without the speaker line-up even being revealed – by women in wine from across the country including business owners, key decision makers, growers, viticulturists, winemakers, sales and marketing professionals, cellar door staff and beyond.
AWIW Founder and Chair Jane Thomson OAM said: “The prioritisation of gender equality in our industry is woefully overdue. From the top down, the lack of action at every level is inexcusable. There is no mention of equality or diversity in any of the current “strategy” documents being circulated, and zero dollars presently being directed towards it. Yet the issue is getting worse on some key measures. This is an absolute embarrassment for our industry and needs urgent attention.”
The latest ATO statistics show that the gender pay gap in Australian wine is widening, with female winemakers earning $14,000 less than their male counterparts. That’s 100% higher than it was eight years ago. For viticulturists and grape growers, women are earning a harrowing $18,500 less.
“The problem lies not with attracting great female talent to the industry, it’s retaining them,” Thomson said. “Our leaders need to not just talk about gender inequality, but to make this a top priority, and provide the necessary strategy, funding and accountability at every level.
“We hope that our symposium can once again highlight the gender inequality issue in our industry and provide women with an opportunity to hear from each other, put forward their requests on what they need to flourish in their wine careers, and be skilled-up by some expert guest speakers. Today we’re delighted to announce a stellar line up of thought leaders from both within and outside the wine industry who will help empower women to tackle the difficult conversations on gender equality and help propel diversity forward.”
The theme of the day is “Leadership & Ambition: Exploring the challenges women face pursuing a career in the Australian wine industry and how to advance them to positions of power for the betterment of the industry.”
Speakers will include:
- Wendy Harmer, a broadcaster, author, journalist, stage performer, stand-up comedian, and former host of 2Day FM’s Breakfast Show and ABC’s 702 Sydney morning show. She has written eight books for adults including her bestselling novels Farewell My Ovaries, Love and Punishment and Nagging for Beginners, a ‘how-to’ guide for women.
- Amanda Gome, CEO of Notable Media and Vice President of the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia, who will host an interactive workshop on how women can build visibility and influence to help smash their goals and counter everyday sexism holding them back.
- Nicky Grandorge,Leadership and Communities Manager at New Zealand Winegrowers, who will share how their Women in Wineinitiative is shifting gender related attitudes across the ditch.
- Dr Chris Wallace, a professor at the School of Politics Economics and Society at the University of Canberra, who teaches on leadership, equity, policy and gender.
- Corrina Davison, Managing Director at American Express Australia and New Zealand, who will offer her perspective on how to advocate for and be an ally for women in achieving equal access and opportunity.
- A panel of women at different stages of their careers – including Halliday Wine Companion’s 2024 Australian Winemaker of the Year Kate Goodman from Penley Estate, and fourth generation winemaker Katherine Brown from Brown Brothers.
For those who missed out on tickets but are interested in being a part of this empowering event, the waitlist can be joined by visiting womeninwine.com.au.