International Women’s Day: How the drinks industry is supporting women in 2020

With International Women’s Day right around the corner, brands are racing to launch initiatives that empower women in the workplace.

In recent years, the day, which has been celebrated for well over a century, became an excuse for businesses to offer promotions and boost their sales, while winning over consumers. Brewdog faced heavy backlash after launching an ironic “Punk for Girls” IPA in 2018 and offering discounts at its on-trade sites, despite also donating proceeds of the sales to support women in STEM research.

It’s no longer enough to offer women a discount on drinks at the bar or a one-off product launch. A recent survey of female consumers carried out by Global Data found that far more want to see retailers donating a portion of their sales to charity and hiring women in top roles than simply tacking on a seasonal discount.

Emily Stella, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “According to the research by GlobalData, consumers are not taking notice of retailer activity – and that is not because they’d rather retailers didn’t do anything at all (a sizeable 71.9% of females believe they should). Namely, female consumers would like to see retailers give a portion of their sales to charity or highlight the roles of women in their brand.

“For the 28.1% of females who would rather retailers did nothing, the leading reason was that they’d prefer not to see the day become a commercial event.”

Each year, we are inundated with press releases that feature discounts on dinners. While there can be a place for promotional activities such as these, we were more excited by the companies paying it forward, offering mentoring schemes and giving women the tools to go further in their careers.

We’ve looked at some of the initiatives that have recently launched that are helping women to make the most of their roles in the drinks industry, from networking events that create a safe space to discuss challenges and failed projects, to scholarship programmes to help more women break into notoriously male-dominated roles.

Click through to see what bar owners, brand founders and marketers are doing to support each other in the drinks industry this year.

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