We’ve got three amazing women on the cover of the new issue of Barista Magazine, and I want to tell you why we did it.
I spent a lot of time talking to Anna, Sarah and Laila about issues facing women in the coffee industry—the conclusions they came to were that, in the circumstance of the barista community, women aren’t kicked to the curb by men—there just aren’t that many women to begin with. I think one reason for this is that, given the fact that a male dominated community can be intimidating to women, regardless of the industry, women are less likely to feel comfortable walking into what could be perceived as a boy’s club. They don’t know that they’ll be welcomed once they get there.
Besides the release of Barista Mag’s new issue, today also saw lots of reactions from folks on Twitter and Facebook about the fact that the just-announced roster of speakers scheduled for the Nordic Barista Cup is all male. It was also pointed out that of the 22 speakers scheduled for the SCAA’s Symposium, six are women. Not bad—not great.
No professional woman that I know in this industry wants to be invited to speak based on the fact that she’s a women—she wants to be invited because she’s an expert in her field, and has information to contribute. And there are PLENTY of women who fit this bill. I would list them here, but I can’t be sure I’d remember to include all of them—there are just so many.
Regardless of the speaker schedules for the NBC and Symposium, we’re just excited to be using our platform to celebrate some amazing people in the coffee industry who happen to be women. I think folks who attend all the trade shows and conferences, who head companies, plan events, and who are leaders in this industry forget sometimes how important it is for the majority of people in the industry—the people who aren’t as physically connected to our community as they might be—to see the strong women we have in our industry celebrated. We are honored that Anna, Sarah and Laila wanted to share their very different stories with us, to explain how they got into coffee, why it’s so important to them, and why they’re making careers out of it.
Somewhere I know there’s a barista, a roaster, a cafe owner, who feels isolated because she’s in this industry. We’re just trying to throw her a line, and let her know she’s not alone, and she’s a part—an important part—of our growing, changing industry.