The 2017 Women’s March, International Women’s Day and Equal Pay Day are some of the recent national events that have highlighted women’s contributions to society. These events also got me thinking about diversity and women in the beverage industry.
Indra Nooyi, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo, leads one of world’s largest food and beverage companies and recently shared her vision at BNP Media’s Beverage Forum, which took place in late April in Chicago. She also advocates for finding the next generation of women to lead the way through the company’s global diversity and engagement initiatives.
When it comes to women in leadership positions, Moët Hennessy has been “breaking the mold since 1805,” says Vanessa Kay, vice president of Vueve Clicquot USA. For example, Madame Clicquot, who was widowed at age 27, took over her husband’s wine business. Using her ingenuity and vision, she created early Champagne by inventing a groundbreaking process called riddling, Kay says.
“She focused on new business tactics, introduced her product to new countries and continents, and created wine-making techniques that are still used today,” Kay says. “Madame Clicquot embodied independence, strong will and entrepreneurship — three qualities found at the core of the Vueve Clicquot brand as well as the modern woman.”
As Tito Handmade Vodka’s Vice President of Brand Marketing, Nicole Portwood has carved out a career in the spirits industry. “Women bring important things to the table, particularly in positions of leadership,” she says. “First, we have a unique perspective that connects with half of the people most responsible for purchasing decisions. Second, we bring a sense of compassion to our work that builds strong teams and helps ready organizations for calculated risks.”
As the beverage industry continues to evolve, it’s likely that more women will take on prominent roles.