Distilling Equality: Where’s Food and Beverage Manufacturing?

When it comes to equality in the workplace, food and beverage manufacturing scores better than some industries. As the country’s largest manufacturing sector, a third of its workforce is female, but with an 11% pay gap, there is still some way to go.

In the Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s latest Gender Equality Scorecard, which looks at data from 2020-2021, in Australian companies there is a gender pay gap of 22.8%, women earning an average of $25,800 less than men.

Additionally, two in five managers (41%) are now women, but it took nine years to increase by just five percentage points, up from 36% in 2013.

Women make up less than one in five CEOs or board chairs, and only one in three board members.

Men are twice as likely as women to be in the top income quartile, earning $120,000 and more, while women are 50% more likely than men to be in the bottom quartile, earning $60,000 and more. less.

The majority of boards are still dominated by men: 74% of boards are made up of more than 60% men and 22% of boards are all men.

With this picture painted, it’s no surprise that feminized industries are slow to act despite persistent gender pay gaps in favor of men.

Wage gaps persist in the health care and social assistance (14.4%) and education and training (10.5%) industries.

Compounding the problem is data that reveals they are also the least likely to undertake gender pay gap audits (under 30%) or take action afterwards (under 40%).

Food and Beverage Performance

In the WGEA report, food manufacturing includes bakery, dairy, produce, milling and grain products, meat and meat products, seafood processing, sugar and confectionery.

The pay gap between men and women is 11% against an average of 22.8%, while at management level the gap is 8.2% against a national average of 23.3% . The gap in a manager’s base salary is 7.7% compared to the average of 19%.

Women represent 31% of managers in the sector.

Beverage manufacturing figures include manufacturers of beer, wine and other alcoholic spirits. It had a hair of greater female representation at 34.2 percent, but its gender pay gap is much smaller than that of the food industry – 6.9 percent versus 11 percent.

It has fewer female CEOs (five percent), but higher representation at the executive (34 percent versus 25.8 percent) and director (22.4 percent versus 16.3 percent) level. It also has a higher rate of paid leave for primary care.

Beyond the Numbers

Louise Weine is National Director and CEO of the National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO).  She is also the breakfast keynote speaker at the Women in Packaging Forum 2021 and talks about the dialogue on diversity: we need action now!
Louise Weine is National Director and CEO of the National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO).

So what do these numbers mean or what do they look like in the workforce? Last year, I spoke to Maggie Pillay, Chief Manufacturing Officer of Kellogg Australia and Louise Weine, CEO of the National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO) about this topic.

Please add it to your podcast player for the trip home or your morning walk – or listen to it via the website here.

In August, Weine also presented at our annual Women in Packaging event. All the evidence shows that the more gender diversity there is in a workplace, the better its business performance.

“Research found that companies with higher diversity in management derived 38% more of their revenue from innovative products and services than companies with lower diversity.

“Diversity is a key ingredient for better decision-making. Diverse teams can take advantage of a wider variety of perspectives and are likely to examine information more thoroughly and accurately,” Wiene said.

To fill these gaps, all employees and employers need to ask themselves three questions: what can I ask, what can I do, and what can I change?

For Catie Fry, founder of Australia’s first all-female distilling company, Clovendoe Distilling Co, there were industrial and personal hurdles to overcome.

“In the beginning, although a partner of Capricorn Distilling Co. and actively working, I was often considered only for the ‘more feminine’ tasks rather than having the opportunity to work alongside the men who were physically distilling.

“So I started making my own non-alcoholic spirit, Clovendoe Zero, in 2017, while juggling motherhood and my confidence as a distiller. It kept me from getting started,” Fry said. .

Catie Fry, founder of low- and non-alcoholic spirits brand Clovendoe Distillery Co.
Catie Fry, founder of low- and non-alcoholic spirits brand Clovendoe Distillery Co.

But she regained her confidence and launched Clovendoe in 2020.

“In 2020, when we launched, the soft drinks market share increased by 2.9%. The IWSR predicts that the volume of alcohol free and low alcohol in Australia will increase by 16% from 2020 to 2024,” she said.

Clovendoe is now known as Australia’s first conscious drinking beverage company, selling only low-alcohol and non-alcoholic spirits, blended with over 20 Australian botanicals.

But getting to this point hasn’t been easy, with Fry saying gender bias has been hard to overcome.

“For me, it has been a daunting and intimidating industry as a woman. I have worked extremely hard to create a conscious and profitable beverage brand. I believe I had to work harder than my male colleagues to be taken seriously in the industry after often feeling gender bias, in the way of condescending comments,” Fry said.

Fry’s experience is not uncommon. Last year, an American craft brewery production manager spoke out against the industry for sexist comments and attitudes she was receiving. It sparked the industry’s Me Too moment, with hundreds of women working in brewing and distilling sharing their stories of sexist comments, harassment, assaults and toxic workplaces.

We spoke to a number of top Australian brewers and distillers at the time, including Corinna Steeb, CEO and co-founder of Prancing Pony Brewery, Jayne Lewis, founder of Two Birds Brewing, Kylie Sepossays, founder and distiller of Farmer’s Wife Distillery, and Jodie Dawe, distiller and blender at Lark Distilling – all had their own experiences and advice for women in the industry. You can read about it here.

“Oddly enough, it was because of my experiences of gender bias that prompted me to launch Clovendoe commercially; All the times I’ve been ignored and overlooked in the industry is what gave me the passion to start my own business,” Fry said.

A 2021 study by Deloitte Access Economics found that while women make up around 48% of the workforce in manufacturing, wholesale, retail and hospitality, only 10% work in distilling. .

Australian Distillery Women is a collective to promote, encourage and support women and those who identify as women within the Australian craft distilling industry. It was founded in 2014 by Kathleen Davies in response to her career beginning in the 1990s with no female representation in middle or senior management, role model or mentor positions.

The collective works with leading industry associations and organizations to support the career development of women in distilling, ambassadorship, marketing, administration, management and doorstep operations. cellar.

It acts as a hub for women-led business and consumer events, courses, networking, public relations, mentorship and personal development.

Clovendoe Distilling Co. strives to provide internships for women to help grow the industry and make distilling a standard for women.

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