Foundation to back women in whisky
Educational platform Our Whisky has created a non-profit organisation in support of women in the whisky industry.
Our Whisky, which was founded by spirits writer Becky Paskin in 2018, unveiled the foundation to coincide with International Women’s Day on 8 March.
The Our Whisky Foundation will offer qualification and internship schemes, a mentorship programme plus seminars and workshops, all designed to help women progress within the industry.
Furthermore, an annual summit and awards will be held, featuring key speakers and industry leaders.
The Foundation has also launched online magazine The Cut, which will cover career advice, diversity and inclusion initiatives, interviews and more.
The organisation will be assisted by an advisory board, which includes Jennifer Robertson, founder of PR agency Spey; Gráinne Saunders, global marketing manager for Glenfiddich; Tracie Franklin, spirits educator and NJAI Distillation Apprentice; and Jennie Noorish, founder of Yellow Shoes consultancy and former director of global communications for Chivas Brothers.
Paskin said: “Our Whisky began in 2018 as a social media movement to champion diversity among whisky drinkers and those within the industry. After four successful years of showcasing the face of the modern whisky drinker and dispelling the spirit’s many myths, it’s time to evolve.
“By working in collaboration with the global whisky community, the Our Whisky Foundation’s aim is to challenge whisky’s outdated gendered image and help women to thrive in their careers.
“This is such an exciting time to be a woman working in whisky, and it’s my ambition that the foundation will be a positive driver in ensuring the current and next generation reach their potential, and be celebrated as part of the wonderful world of whisky.”
The foundation is inviting women in the industry to apply for its mentorship programme, spanning areas such as distilling, blending, brand ownership, bartending, ambassadorship, marketing and journalism.
Mentors for the scheme include: Dhavall Gandhi, whisky maker at The Lakes Distillery; Paul Hletko, founder of Few Spirits; Louise McGuane, founder of JJ Corry; Martyn ‘Simo’ Simpson, founder of Silverleaf bar in London; Dawn Davies, head buyer at online retailer The Whisky Exchange; Nicola Riske, brand ambassador for The Macallan; Lew Bryson, whisky journalist and author; Ryan Chetiyawardana, founder of bar operator Mr Lya; and Tommie Tardie, owner of New York bar Fine and Rare.
Our Whisky has also unveiled a new subscription club, which has been created to provide a ‘fun and inclusive space’ for whisky drinkers.
Every month subscribers will receive home-delivered whisky samples to enjoy alongside an expert-led tasting.
Members will also receive discounted tickets to exclusive events, tours and tastings.