Recently Bronte O’Donoghue, our marketing coordinator, got to travel to Sydney as a successful applicant for the Pink Boots Brewcon Scholarship. Bronte’s using this platform to share her experience and encourage women in the beer industry to get out of their comfort zone!
Being in the beer industry for less than a year, I was apprehensive about going and meeting all these kick-ass, confident, founding members of the Australian Chapter and knowledgeable women of the beer world (how would I fit in with that?!) but it was honestly such a rewarding opportunity. It allowed me not just to learn from their extensive experience in the industry, but also learn how important it is to welcome one another, no matter how long you’ve been a member.
I know Pink Boots key objectives are awareness, recruitment, and education but above all else I see it as a support network. A society that has always got your back, not just to educate but to give you a sense of belonging (which can be hard when some days you’re the only one without a penis in the workplace).
If I could pass on one key thing that Teri and Ali taught me, it’s this: Pink Boots is a society that revolves around supporting and educating other women in the industry. We don’t all have to be best friends because we are women, we know that ain’t reality. We’re here as we share a mutual respect and understanding of one another. Our goal is to provide a strong industry network so that when a woman does want to become involved in Pink Boots, she knows where to reach out and feels comfortable doing so.
I’m sure any one of us who has worked behind the bar at a beer festival has been asked the question: “So are you promo staff or do you actually work for a brewery?” And witnessed the comical surprised expression on the dude’s face when you explain you fall into the latter category. Or the even more ridiculous question: “Do you actually like beer?”.
So what can we do to make it better?
I think the answer ties back into Pink Boots key objectives: increase awareness, education and support (whether that be recruitment into the Pink Boots group or another supportive network) and to pay forward what we’ve learnt onto other women.
Ultimately, I think the craft beer industry is a very open and welcoming one, but institutions like Pink Boots are still so important. To be able to relate to your fellow woman and listen to her struggles that may be unique or shared is pretty awesome. At times I feel I’m the odd one out in the boys’ club (or brewery, as some may call it). Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad thing, it’s actually really motivating to do better, but it makes it SO GOD DAMN NICE to spend some time with other industry women, and remember that we’re all here to offer advice, boost each other up and give each other the confidence to own our space in the workplace.
If you’ve been a woman in the industry for one month/one year/ten years and you’re considering joining Pink Boots- get involved! It’s great to be a part of something.
Hit them up at [email protected] or on instagram @pinkbootsau