This International Women's Day, congrats to all the amazing women in wine. In a male dominated industry, women are making their mark! We're proud to have Mary McDermott as our talented winemaker, a graduate of Brock University's prestigious Oenology and Viticulture program.
In addition to all the outstanding female winemakers, there are many expert female sommeliers across our country including Veronique Rivest, Carolyn Evans Hammond, Daenna Van Mulligen, DJ Kearney, Samantha Rahn, and Laura Starr to name a few that we've had the pleasure of meeting, plus Canada's only female Master of Wine Barbara Philip. For a comprehensive summary of Canadian women in wine see Wines of Canada's list.
Jancis Robinson, the world renown wine critic and ironically named Decanter's "Man of the Year", has 7 interesting tips for women in wine that she presented at the 6th annual Women in Wine Leadership Symposium this past fall. Perhaps most prescient to women in the industry -- her recommendation to bolster your knowledge through education whether its WSET, Master of Wine or Court of Master Sommeliers.
We tracked down some recent stats on women in the wine industry, which are both sobering and give rise for hope (i) ...
- According to GuildSomm in the USA, the median income of female sommeliers $58,000 was $7000 less than the median income for male sommeliers $65,000, (controlling for education, experience and location)
- Women represent just 10% of all the winemakers in California. And only 4% of those women own their own wineries, while 48% of men own theirs
- 3 women have been inducted into the California based Vintners Hall of Fame, representing 6.25% of all inductees.
- Female participation in winemaking and viticulture in Australia is at less than 10% and in decline
- In Sicily, out of 600 wine producers, 30% are women, up from almost none a few years ago
- Women comprise 62% of undergraduates in the Viticulture & Enology program at UC Davis
- At Brock University, women comprise over half their graduates
- In the 1970s only 10% of the WSET diploma graduates were women, and only 10% of Master of Wine (MW) were women and there were no female Master Sommeliers (MS). However, between 2010 and 2017, 42% of WSET diploma graduates were women, and the number of women passing the MW and MS exams now sit at 48% and 18% respectively
(i) Statistics from Karen MacNeil (Chairman Emeritus of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America) Women in the Wine Industry,Women of the Vine and Global Spirits Symposium 2017; Brock University: American Association of Wine Economists; Ozy.com's Where Women Fight the Patriarchy with Wine; Richard Siddle "Laura Jewel MW: Why Education is Key in helping women in wine", The Buyer; and from WineWomen.net.