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Gender equality platform Ada Coleman Project launches

Kaitlin Wilkes and Kristine Bocchino have created The Ada Coleman Project, which provides a global database for women in the drinks industry.

Ada Coleman Project
L-R: The Ada Coleman Project co-founders Kaitlin Wilkes and Kristine Bocchino

Bocchino and Wilkes, both industry veterans, are aiming to foster gender equality and diversity through the online platform, which will provide mentorship and networking opportunities, essential resources and highlight achievements of women professionals.

The project is named after Ada Coleman, the first woman to gain the position of The Savoy hotel in London’s head bartender. Coleman is viewed as a ‘beacon of inspiration’ for women in the industry.

Bocchino said: “Our vision is to spotlight the women who innovate and inspire us as an industry, in an effort to raise awareness and encourage meaningful conversation regarding the importance of a more balanced and diverse selection of leaders and educators in hospitality.”

Along with raising awareness for current inequities, the mission of the project is to also offer ‘meaningful and actionable’ solutions to the way women are represented in hospitality.

One of the platform’s main features, a rotating database of accomplished women in the drinks industry, will enable it to do this. The database allows organisers of industry events and shows to diversify their hosts, guest speakers, competition judges, guest bartenders and more.

The first roster of the project will feature more than 50 women from varying regions, backgrounds, and areas of expertise within the industry. The roster will rotate bi-annually with a ‘mix of industry veterans and rising stars’, and the goal is to take their careers to the next level.

A board of advisors comprising Lauren Mote, Sandrae Lawrence, Mel Harvey and John Gakuru, is supporting the project.

Wilkes added: “We believe in cultivating a more inclusive and representative approach to drinks education, empowering our fellow women in hospitality, and inspiring future generations.”

Recently mixer producer Double Dutch another brand looking to unlock opportunity for women in the drinks industry revealed the 12 bartenders for its scholarship programme.

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