May 20th, 2021
Our hearts are heavy from the chilling stories of harassment, abuse, and oppression shared by so many brave women across the brewing industry. Unfortunately, many women were not at all surprised from hearing these relatable stories. There is no way to ignore the systemic issues of sexism our industry faces when laid out in page after page after page of hard truths.
A very sad but common refrain from the experiences shared is that the survivors often felt the only solution was to quit or leave the industry. Losing them means our industry has collectively lost out on a cadre of people and potential that could have strengthened the brewing world. We all lose.
The intersectionality and the parallels in experience for women, for people of color, for gender nonconforming folks – for anyone “other” than what is expected in the brewing industry – should not go unmentioned. We know you are out there, and we want you to stay (or return)… because you belong here in the brewing industry.
We know that impact means more than intent, and that good intentions without action are just empty words. While we do stand with and in support of the women who have endured these sexist acts, we will commit to doing more. We start by looking inward, taking stock of what we have already been doing and learning from others what else can be done.
We are sharing our best practices here in the hope to help support others in the industry, and we hope to learn from others who also share their best practices as we all learn to do better for our people.
· We hire with diversity of the team in mind, focusing on team balance, individual skills, and alignment of values. We are proud that we have above the industry average representation of women and people of color, but we recognize we have a long way to go to true representation.
· We have implemented an anonymous team survey to make sure that concerns can be raised without fear of reprisal.
· We have an independent HR consultant who is available to the team.
· We abide by our harassment and discrimination policy.
· We provide training to our management team to prevent harassment and discrimination.
· We have formed the Reuben’s Brews Foundation, and in its first act have formed the Mosaic State Brewers Collective in collaboration with our friends from Métier Brewing Company, a mentoring program that will open opportunities for historically underrepresented groups, ultimately enriching the culture and broadening the perspective of the brewing industry to better represent the diverse communities of which it is an essential part.
This is the beginning of a movement, and we look forward to the change this moment of reckoning – long overdue – will bring for our industry.
Grace and Adam Robbings, Co-Founders of Reuben’s Brews