stirring up the conversation on women in wine


2018 Forum: Navigating the Male Exclusivity Culture in Wine


This was the first panel of the day.  It was such an honor to moderate this seminar with three of the most accomplished women in the business: Valerie Masten, the vice president for national sales at Skurnik Wines & Spirits; Tonya Pitts, sommelier and wine director, One Market; Esther Mobley, wine writer for The San Francisco Chronicle. We also had the chance to learn of important research from UC Davis research associate Dr. Malcolm Hobbs.  

We led off discussing the personal experiences of Esther, Valerie, and Tonya as women in the wine industry: how they've dealt with these issues in their own careers and sharing valuable insight into everyday issues that women face in the workplace. Each panelist gave advice to the audience about how to deal with these problems.

The last panelist to speak before we took questions was Malcolm, which capped the conversation sharing results from the study he helped conduct. His research focuses on a different element of women in the wine industry — the migrant female vineyard, one group that was noticeably absent from the day's event — and looks at statistics of how the percentage of women in the laboring side of the wine industry has changed, as well as the startling amount of sexual harassment that takes place.

- Sam

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