Two US organisations, Diversity in Wine & Spirits and Wonder Women of Wine, have come together to launch a virtual jobs fair focused on diversity and inclusion. The Be the Change Job Fair will take place in early December.
A statement for the event said that US women earn an average of $12,000 less than men in the beverage alcohol industry. Be the Change seeks to address this inequality, while also embracing the need for diversity and inclusion in the wine industry. It is also focused on helping to reduce the high unemployment in the industry caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Be the Change was founded by four US women in wine: Lia Jones, founder and executive director of Diversity in Wine & Spirits; Rania Zayyat, founder and president of Wonder Women of Wine; Cara Bertone, national accounts sales manager of Folio Fine Wine Partners, and Philana Bouvier, Chair, WSWA Women’s Leadership Council.
“I’ve been in food and beverage for over 20 years and as a black queer woman I am no stranger to being a token to meet an employer’s bottom line,” said co-founder Lia Jones. “Because of my experience, I was inspired to become a DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) professional to create a more inclusive, professional workplace for so many others like myself.” She added that Be the Change will incorporate an “employer vetting process to address the need for safe spaces in a diverse workplace”.
Co-founder Philana Bouvier said she wanted to do something to mitigate the effect of the pandemic. “As a woman in wine in the industry and advocate for women empowerment, I immediately saw the negative effect that Covid-19 had on employment and diversity,” she said. “I saw an opportunity to bring women that I admire together in an innovative space created to pave the way for a better future.”
The virtual job fair is organised in conjunction with virtual recruitment firm Brazen and specialist recruiting firm ForceBrands. It will be a four-hour virtual recruitment event that will host employers who are committed to DEI with up to 1,000 job seekers. Applicants can upload their resumes, chat with employers and network with other professionals.