Encompass Takes Part in the Women of the Vine and Spirits Global Symposium

March 22, 2019

What is 'Women of the Vine and Spirits'

Women of the Vine and Spirits (WOTVS) is a group of women and men dedicated to encouraging and empowering women in the alcohol beverage industry. Their motto is "connect, collaborate, commit." Deborah Brenner, the Founder of WOTVS, noticed that women in the industry were "underrecognized and all but invisible" and that realization sparked a drive to meet the needs of these women. WOTVS gathers women in all positions and facets of the alcohol beverage industry and brings them together! These ladies set the standard of what to expect as a woman in the industry and future generations will enjoy the foundation that has been created for them by WOTVS.

Our partnership with Women of the Vine and Spirits is indicative of what it means to work at Encompass Technologies. We are proud to be part of a changing landscape in technology and the alcohol beverage industry by promoting inclusiveness and equality in the workplace. Encompass recognizes and nurtures the talent of women in the industry. So we jumped at the chance to be a part of the Women of the Vine and Spirits Organization.

The 5th Annual Women of the Vine and Spirits Global Symposium was underway last week and two women from Encompass had the opportunity to attend: Hanna Hickert, our Marketing Director and Audrey Kruger, Implementation Project Manager. They engaged in constructive conversations on the importance of diversity in the workplace and came home with some noteworthy takeaways.

'The Business Imperative for Gender Diversity'

One of the speakers was Ana Ines Mendy, who is a partner at McKinsey & Company focusing on inclusion and diversity. She discussed some of the proven benefits of having a diversified staff, listed below are a few of the statistics she mentioned.

  • Companies whose senior management teams are more than 15% female had a 5% higher return on equity

  • Companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 21% more likely to outperform on profitability and 27% more likely to have superior value creation

  • Companies with the most ethnically/culturally diverse boards worldwide are 43% more likely to experience higher profits

'Women Leading the Way'

In a concluding panel discussion called 'Women Leading the Way', Jan Jones Blackhurst, Executive Vice President of Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility at Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas, discussed the importance of having a career plan and measuring progress. Blackhurst mentioned that adovacting for oneself is the best way to let your superiors know what you want for your future. Take the initiative and ask for opportunities to advance yourself personally and professionally. Setting precedence for the industry, Caesars has created an initiative to have equal representation of women in leadership roles by 2025, called '50-50 by 2025'. With the correct plans and processes in place, great goals are achievable.

From a wider perspective, Stephanie Gallo, the Chief Marketing Officer at E. & J. Gallo Winery, pointed out that "only 33 percent of Americans drink wine". She noted that growing this category will require companies to think differently about how products are marketed and sold. Maintaining the status quo will not be enough in the future. Catering to the changes we see happening with the culture of America today is imperative.

The End Goal

Stephen R. Covey once said, "Strength lies in differences, not similarities" and this is very true today. We all should celebrate the fact that we are different, we offer unique skills to the companies we work for and acknowledge that collectively, we can achieve great things. Women of the Vine and Spirits works hard to shed light on the importance and value of diversity in the workplace and Encompass is happy to be a part of it!

If you are interested in learning more about Women of the Vine and Spirits or would like to become a corporate member, visit the WOTVS Homepage today!

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