How women are shaping modern bartending, Hospitality News, ET HospitalityWorld

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In an era marked by remarkable strides in gender equality, women are reshaping the landscape of various industries. Despite enduring historical barriers and societal stereotypes, the overall representation of women in the labour force has increased significantly, with their noteworthy contributions resonating across sectors that were once considered male-dominated, such as entrepreneurship, medicine, research, and more recently, bartending.

When it comes to women leaving their indelible mark, the world of alcobev is no exception. From fending legal restrictions to warding off societal pressures and misconceptions, a cadre of exceptional women has been raising the bar in bartending, shaping the industry with their skill, passion, and expertise. In mature markets like the US, there has been a notable surge in women’s involvement in bartending. In 2021, women comprised the majority of the workforce, accounting for 58.4 percent, while men constituted 41.6 percent, as per DataUSA findings – highlighting a substantial shift in the industry’s demographics. This trend reverberates back home in India, with the country’s burgeoning alcobev sector contributing nearly 1.5 million jobs as reported in the ICRIER 2021 report, many of which are being embraced by women, who are making their mark by innovating and inspiring others to follow suit in the industry. With the advent of liquor brands, both local and international, bartending in India stands out as a thriving USD 52 billion industry that continues to draw in new-age professionals from all walks of life.

Driven by this widening pool of diverse backgrounds, women are now at the forefront of the latest trends and innovations in modern-day mixology that are striking a chord with an increasingly diverse cohort of consumers in the country. For instance, consider the trend of localisation that is dominating modern-day mixology, wherein a lot of bars are moving towards embracing indigenous ingredients and regional elements in their offerings to craft unique and appealing experiences. This diverse pool of mixologists brings a wealth of varied perspectives, leading to a broader spectrum of innovative offerings – establishing diversity behind bars as the hero ingredient for success in capturing the evolving preferences of consumers.Throughout my professional journey, I’ve witnessed the evolution of women in bartending. When I first joined the hospitality industry in 2010, there were many restrictions that held women back from behind the bar. But as I progressed in my career, I observed the emergence of talented women bartenders, shattering glass ceilings and redefining industry norms. Today, the industry widely acknowledges the significance of inclusivity and collaboration, underscoring the considerable progress we have made on this journey.

For new-age businesses in the industry, the message is clear: In an increasingly competitive landscape, businesses stand to gain immensely from ensuring diversity in hiring to lead the charge in innovation that speaks to a broad spectrum of tastes and preferences. The path towards inclusivity is thus not only a moral responsibility but also a strategic imperative towards success. As organisations recognise the tangible benefits of diversity, they must collectively invest in efforts like training in DE&I and fostering a culture of open conversations to collectively support the advancement of women in bartending – crafting the way for a future that inspires a journey towards excellence for all.

The author, Ishrat Kaur is trade ambassador, South India, Bacardi.

  • Published On Apr 13, 2024 at 12:00 PM IST

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