Joint initiative of Diversity in Wine & Spirits and Wonder Women of Wine provides a powerful platform to drive social change
Be the Change Job Fair, a joint initiative between Diversity in Wine & Spirits, Wonder Women of Wine and other industry leaders, announced today the wine industry’s first virtual job fair focused on diversity and inclusion. The virtual job fair will be held on December 2-3 and will bring together like-minded companies including job technology industry leaders Brazen and ForceBrands’ specialized beverage hiring division BevForce, to enhance and diversify the wine industry. According to a 2019 study, women earn an average of $12,000 less than men in the beverage alcohol industry. Starting with the virtual job fair, Be the Change seeks to address these inequities and provide tangible and real solutions for the need to create diversity, equity, and inclusion in the wine industry. The virtual job fair also seeks to help reduce high unemployment rates due to COVID-19. Ultimately, the initiative aims to submit legislation in 2021 to implement social change for the entire consumer packaged goods industry. Registration for equal opportunity employers and applicants is open as of November 2nd.
Supports Black-Women Owned Small Businesses During COVID-19
This year, the global impact of COVID-19 has hit all businesses but has been especially destructive to Black-owned small businesses. At the beginning of February 2020, there were more than 1 million Black-owned businesses in the U.S. but by mid-April, 440,000 or 41% of those businesses had shuttered. By comparison, 17% of white-owned businesses closed during the same period.
Black women are starting and maintaining businesses at a faster rate than any other group in America and McBride Sisters Collections, Inc. has pledged $100,000 to help entrepreneurs make the necessary business adjustments to sustain and propel growth during the age of COVID-19 through access to capital and business advice. McBride Sisters Collection is also seeking support from the corporate community in this urgent endeavor.
The Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), 4thMVMT, and PepsiCo announced a formal collaboration to provide leadership development and increase business ownership opportunities for Black people in the restaurant industry. Together, they are launching the Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership program, an innovative personal development training initiative that equips potential business owners to operate high-performing businesses.
Recent data shows that only eight percent of restaurants are owned by Black people. The program’s goal is to create 100 Black-owned franchise restaurants by the end of 2022 and to continue growing that number.
In alliance with the MFHA, the Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership program will be conducted with 4thMVMT, a social equity organization that vets, trains, facilitates funding, and partners with individuals from underserved communities to own and operate competitive businesses. As part of the company’s commitment to advance racial equality, PepsiCo is the founding sponsor committing $2.5 million over the next five years to build and sustain the program. The alliance aims to catalyze additional franchises and companies to join the effort.
Pictured/Photo credit: Benita Johnson
Benita Johnson founded The Vine Wine Club in 2014. Johnson’s The Vine Wine Club is a subscription-based company that offers wine, education and lifestyle events to its members. In 2005, Johnson became the first Black woman-owned wine shop in Richmond, Virginia, when she opened Grapes and Barley that later closed in 2009.
An accountant by profession, Johnson pivoted smoothly into the wine world when opening her wine shop. She earned an MBA from the University of Virginia and a certificate from the Master Court of Sommeliers. Johnson is also a member of the Guild of Sommeliers. In the past, she’s hosted “Off The Vine with Benita and Terricinia” and has always been an advocate for wine appreciation and education. She plans to launch Wine Art and Soul in 2021 as her next venture in the wine world where she will merge her love for art and wine.
Johnson’s future includes hosting a virtual wine festival project that she is teaming up with a friend and six wineries, but in the meantime, we wanted to learn a little more about this 15-year wine veteran.
City Brew Tours announces the establishment of the annual Talent on Tap Educational Scholarship program to support women of color from unique backgrounds who have a desire to make a lasting impact in the beer industry.
The scholarship will be open to all Women of Color 18 years or older who are interested in pursuing education related to the beer industry. The scholarship will provide financial support for a wide range of educational pursuits such as Beer Science programs, Cicerone® Certifications, and other hospitality certifications.
Applications are currently open and will be accepted until December 1, 2020. The first program award will be made in January 2021.
Source: City Brew Tours