SWF Second Chairwoman &
Whiskybusiness Co Founder
High Coast Whisky
When James who was working for Beam Suntory at the time called me up to meet over a cup of coffee in the sun, I had no idea what to expect. We talked, had coffee and a nice time ad it could have ended there, but we both felt that this could be the start of something great, and hopefully something that will turn out to be big.view more
So, I called Emelie at Bacardi, Susan the first female second chairholder at SWF, Emma the editor in chief of Allt Om Whisky and Janne founder of World Whisky Forum. I told them what we´ve talked about and our ideas and they were all excited to be part of this.
Since I´ve met all the prejudices as a woman in a industry dominated by men I´m honored to be part of this and I think this is a great opportunity to make the community that we all love more aware of this problem that actually exist. And to open some eyes, to make people more aware and together make this a more welcoming world of this great spirit as a community.
And when I asked our CEO about this, if this is something, he would feel that I could do in the name of High Coast Whisky this is what he said:
” Me personally and High Coast Distillery in particular, are always interested to support activities and initiatives that supports human equality. Open up over whisky is a great initiative that works to include women in a business dominated by men. It should be a natural thing that women feel as welcome into the whisky business than any man. Unfortunately, we are not there yet and until this is a fact, High Coast Distillery will do as much as we can to help make this happen.”
So, to have a CEO that without a doubt said yes and thought this was a great idea meant a lot, I´m proud to work for a company that feels that this should be a natural thing but is willing to do the work to make it happen.
World Whisky Forum
During the last 25 years, the whisky industry has been a significant part of my life. The business’s pros and cons have appeared, nothing strange with that, but one thing has constantly stroked me, and that is the old-fashioned way of looking at the consumers. view more
In the beginning, I never noticed that this limited eyesight could be an issue at all, the business growth was impressive, and we experienced something unique. Both young and old consumers were gathered over a sniffing glass, and folks talked over generations in a way never been seen before.
But they were all men.
After a while, the marketing team started to discuss the fact that they had left out almost half of the population, and the solution they came up with was cocktails and lighter versions of traditional whisky. But, again, was I fooled by their excellent power points presentations. Because when I met the people, both at tastings and fairs around Europe, I noticed that there was no perfect line between the genders. The palate is individually and unique to one another, which is why whisky is the world’s most exciting beverage.
Therefore, I think the initiative Open Up Over Whisky is an excellent start of a movement that will help us to create argumentation and build examples to show the industry that a change in attitude must – and will – come.
Customer Marketing Manager
Bacardi Travel Retail
Partner Manager Sweden &
After several years organizing whisky events and partaking in whisky events where we witnessed firsthand the patriarchal, macho, locker room behaviors and culture, it became apparent that for us working in the industry, for some of the largest suppliers in the industry, needed to push for change.view more
As a privileged male myself, I needed support and understanding from someone who had lived first hand through the ugly side of these behaviors. That is when I set up a meeting with Sara who was then working for High Coast. From that point on, it snowballed into a cross industry initiative that I hope we can continue to grow and spread across categories and countries improving diversity and inclusion along the way.
Global Brand Manager
Through Let’s Up Over Whisky Forum, we wanted to create and establish a space where we could prompt discussions around key transversal topics for the industry.view more
For me personally, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a subject very dear to my heart and this interest is connected to my cultural background. I grew up in Venezuela, where men are typically seen as the primary income earners while women are expected to play a secondary role. Often not even have the ambition to challenge status quo and growing up surrounded in this context, you almost feel like it’s your path and the reality… but I always knew there was much more… so it took me a lot of courage and determination to embrace a different path and leave the country looking to open my world. I am also a whisky drinker and lover myself and have experienced gender stereotypes and biases when enjoying Whisky. One of the most common situations is when I’m in a bar with a male companion, and we order a Whisky neat while our male companion orders a cocktail. 90% of the time the whisky glass is automatically handed to him. These experiences have helped fuel my passion for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
I have always been a purpose-driven individual and creating value by doing good is one of my fundamental values. The Let’s Open Up Over Whisky Forum has provided me with a springboard to not only dream about a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all within the Spirits World, but also to embrace an active role in leading change and leaving a positive mark in the world. I am proud to be working for a company such as Beam Suntory which has supported and provided me space to be able to drive these initiatives.
Editor in Chief
Allt om Whisky Magazin
Key Account Manager
Hans Just – Travel Retail
Editor in Chief
Allt om Whisky Magazin