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stirring up the conversation on women in wine

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2018 Forum: Women in Management & Leadership

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Wooh! This panel dives in at the deep end!

I had the great pleasure of moderating the panel on Women in Management and Leadership, and as one might guess, there were strong convictions and opinions amongst this group: Jena Domingue, vice president of global sales, WineDirect; Molly Madden, CEO and Founder, RedHen Collective; Jill Klein Matthiasson, Vintner, Matthiasson Wines; Debbie Zachareas, partner and wine buyer, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant and Napa’s Oxbow Wine & Cheese Merchant; Debby Zygelbaum, farm and vineyard consultant.

In our conversations going into this panel it became clear that this group wanted to tackle some difficult and pressing subjects ranging widely from ideas of narrative and how we present ourselves, providing channels for mentorship, issues of inclusivity and breaking glass ceilings as well as floors, and tackling systemic problems. As you will hear–we don’t always agree. There are moments when things get feisty. (A shout-out here to audience member Clare for her eloquent and unifying words at a heated moment.)

If anything, this shows how important having these conversations are. I had audience members approach me afterwards regarding each of the topics to say how glad they were they’d been touched upon–particularly the difficult ones. There is clearly a need to discuss tricky topics openly, but with respect -- Finger pointing leads to conversations devolving quickly. Certainly, any one of the topics we touched on could have had an hour (AT LEAST) devoted to it on it’s own, so these are just jumping off points. There’s easily fodder for many future discussions.

Comically, you’ll hear some commotion in the background as a sanitation truck rolls into fix the port-a-potties. It’s a loud, but perhaps apt, metaphor. We’ve gotta fix this sh*t.

- Nicole

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