The prioritisation of gender equality in the Australian wine industry is woefully overdue, according to Jane Thomson OAM, founder and chair of the Australian Women in Wine.
“From the top down, the lack of action at every level is inexcusable,” she says.
“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.”
Ms Thomson was speaking ahead of the Australian Women in Wine 2023 National Symposium at Barangaroo in Sydney on Friday 17 November.
The 140 tickets sold out in less than four weeks. Attendees will include women in wine from across the country including business owners, key decision makers, growers, viticulturists, winemakers, sales and marketing professionals and cellar door staff.
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 percent higher than it was eight years ago,” Ms Thomson says.
“For viticulturists and grapegrowers, women are earning a harrowing $18,500 less.
“The problem lies not with attracting great female talent to the industry, it’s retaining them.
“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.”
Symposium speakers include broadcaster and comedian Wendy Harmer; Amanda Gome, CEO of Notable Media and Vice President of the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia; Nicky Grandorge, leadership and communities manager at New Zealand Winegrowers; Dr Chris Wallace, a professor at the School of Politics Economics and Society at the University of Canberra; and Corrina Davison, managing director of American Express Australia and New Zealand.