Woman's Work

There’s nothing we can’t accomplish

By Hilary Berg

Grit. Backbone. Fortitude. Guts. Pluck. These descriptors encompass just some of the attributes the women featured in the cover story must possess to succeed in the business of vineyard management.

The same characteristics can describe women winemakers and sommeliers, too. We’ve covered the two groups before — the former in May 2013, the latter in April 2011 — highlighting their work and their wine.

Gender aside, these members of our industry deserve to be recognized because of their noteworthy accomplishments. Period. And yet ... the fact they are women adds another facet to their already interesting stories, with unique challenges their male peers never encounter.

One such universal obstacle for women: the pay gap. According to the AAWU (American Association of University Women), at the current rate of change, women in the U.S. must wait until 2119 for equal pay. That’s 100 more years. This can’t be correct — but sadly, it is.

While we feel proud to share the work of these women, the feature has some additional motives: I relish blasting stereotypes of any kind; in this case, female vs. male careers. Gender defining capabilities or talents is utterly absurd, and yet, some “dinosaurs” still think this way.

Of course, cover stories are all about visibility, another reason to publish this feature. According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, “being seen” has long been an issue for working women. Their professional contributions are often overlooked, limiting their advancement and partially explaining why senior management remains stubbornly male. The writer explains, “Yet when women try to make themselves more visible, they can face backlash for violating expectations about how women should behave and risk losing their hard-won career gains.” Female expectations? Hogwash. Evolve, people. It’s time. 

Visibility is also important for the cultivation of role models. By showcasing these women, maybe someone with no prior example can now take the leap into a career she’s never been encouraged to explore. 

I can only hope this story could have that kind of effect.

I say, women, be whatever you choose. We’re all cheering you on, especially this woman.




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