The Somm Journal

Somm Journal Dec2018-Jan2019

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 98 of 116

98 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018/2019 Applying that same scrutiny to the wine industry yields a higher percentage. A report released this year by The Red Cabinet, an organization of 100 female wine executives in California, found that women CEOs ran 13 percent of the state's wineries with an annual produc - tion of more than 10,000 cases. (Wineries producing fewer than 10,000 cases were not surveyed, as small-production wineries are considerably less likely to have formal management structures.) Interestingly, there were no female CEOs at wineries producing between 100,000 and 500,000 cases annually. But at wineries producing 500,000 to 1 million cases per year, 25 percent of CEOs were women. In other areas of executive man - agement, the report found that women were significantly overrepresented in hu- man resources and marketing and under- represented in operations, sales, viticulture, IT, and winemaking. The latter is a particularly interesting area, as a considerable amount of research suggests that women (especially those of child-bearing age) have some advantages over men when it comes to sensory skills. (See my May 10 report, "Women or Men . . . Who Has Better Wine Tasting Ability?" on I asked the trade as - sociations of several of the top wine-pro- ducing states to estimate the percentage of female winemakers in their states, and while there is no firm research in this area, they responded as follows: an estimated 10 percent of winemakers in California are female, compared to 7 percent in Wash - ington and 5 percent in New York. This despite the fact that for the past 15 years, women have on average made up 42 percent of graduates from the presti - gious Viticulture and Enology program at the University of California, Davis. Women, in fact, have earned more college degrees in general than men for the past three decades, and while the popular assumption is that more education equates to more money, that's not the case here: For the past 20 years, women have made about 80 cents for every dollar men earn for the same work. Last year, that figure rose marginally to 82 cents, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As management level increases, how - ever, the gender pay gap widens. Female chief financial officers, for example, experi- ence the highest pay gap, earning just 77 percent of what their male counterparts do, according to a 2017 report by the College and University Professional Asso - ciation for Human Resources (CUPA-HR). Gains and Losses Unfortunately, in the wine industry, no broad-based salary surveys exist that track compensation by gender. The educational association GuildSomm, however, does conduct its own annual report on the subject, and while the data set is small, last year's results show improvements over the prior year's. In 2016, women sommeliers were paid on average $7,000 less annually than male sommeliers, but in 2017 the gap narrowed to $4,000, adjusting for education, experience, location, and other factors. One problem immediately apparent in any sommelier survey is that the propor - tion of women in the Master Sommelier community remains glaringly small. In the U.S. there are currently 182 Master Som- meliers, of whom just 29 are women. It's hard to reconcile this number with any single explanation, but several women I've talked to say they're turned off by what they see as a "pin-kissing bro culture" proliferating amongst male sommeliers. For Masters of Wine, thankfully, the situation is better : Out of 380 MWs worldwide, 131 are women. There are, of course, other forms of industry recognition beyond the MS and MW. Traditionally, industry accolades like Wine Enthusiast's Wine Star Awards go overwhelmingly to men, but in this year's Top 100 People in the U.S. Wine Industry list by, 24 out of 100 were women. That includes the person in the number-one slot: Annette Alvarez-Peters, who serves as the Assistant General Mer - chandise Manager for Beverage Alcohol at Costco, America's largest alcohol retailer. Theodora Lee Kimberly Charles Laura Díaz Muñoz

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Somm Journal - Somm Journal Dec2018-Jan2019