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Women at Wells

Women at Wells

Celebrated on March 8 every year, International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the historical, cultural and political achievements of women. This International Women’s Day, we wanted to highlight our #WomenOfWells and tell their stories.

“It’s not just Wells that needs more women, it’s the brewing industry as a whole and that’s because some people need to realise that it doesn’t matter about gender – everyone can get the job done,” comments Olga Athanasiadou, Assistant Brewer at Brewpoint, Wells’ Bedford based brewery.

Typically, Olga is correct. The brewing industry is still predominately made up of men, with females making up a small percentage. This is reflective across the industry, but especially within the brewery teams themselves. But it’s not always, the case and the gender imbalance is being addressed.

We have an impressive number of females within their business. 53% of all UK staff are female, including 50% of both their executive board and leadership team identifying as female. 45% of our employees are female across the seas in our 17 Managed sites in France. Perhaps the most stand out statistic is that 49% of our leased & tenanted estate are landladies.

We have a number of women who have been with the company for many years. Long standing members include Kym Downing, who started with us as the first female salesperson back in the last 90’s; a unique position for the time. Kym is now Head of Commercial Services, having been a part of Wells for 34 years.

An even longer standing member is Karen Rich, Business Intelligence Developer. Clocking in at a whopping 43 years and really finally, keeping it in the family, is the Stanbridge duo; Mother (Philippa) and daughter (Daisy). Philippa Stanbridge, Business Development Executive started with Wells in 1989 as a one day temp and hasn’t looked back. She has had many roles including Customer Service, Telesales, Helpdesk and is now flying the flag for females in an all-male team! She’s since seen both her 21st and 50th Birthday celebrations as well as getting married and having two children. “My son joined the company at the age of 17 as an engineer apprentice and my daughter now works at Brewpoint so keeping it in the family!”

Long standing commitment from females is great and to be celebrated, but what are we doing to help contribute to #BreakTheBias, the campaign theme of International Women’s Day 2022?

Shirley Couchman, Retail Director at Wells said, “In such a typically male dominated industry, it’s amazing to see that so many of our people at Wells are women. We have above 45% representation across our entire business, including our pubs overseas in France. A huge step in the right direction for us as a company and setting an example for other regional brewers to follow.

We’ve recently partnered with WiHTL, a collaboration company devoted to increasing diversity and inclusion across Hospitality. Two of our team are currently on their Global Female Leaders programme and two members of the Senior Leadership team, including myself and family member Peter Wells, being mentors. Our commitment to empowering and growing the female leaders of our team does not stop there and we are looking forward to showcasing this commitment over the next 12 months.

I’m immensely proud of all of the Women at Wells and look to any individual reading this to know that there is absolutely a place for you in hospitality. This sector is rewarding, but most of all fun! There are amazing career growth opportunities throughout.”

Lauren Troiano, Communications & Marketing Manager commented, “it’s been great to research and hear stories all about our Women of Wells. My Mum worked for Wells as the Secretary to the Architect, so the company has always been close to my heart and it’s great working on campaigns where I can see not only progression, but commitment to creating action against gender inequality.”

We’ll be featuring our #WomenOfWells across our corporate social channels every day this week. Follow on our Linked In and Facebook pages to discover more.