Cocktails & Spirits

The Spirit Forward Bacardi Women in Leadership Initiative Debuts Empowerment Series

The Spirit Forward Bacardi Women in Leadership Initiative Debuts Empowerment Series
Photo by Lizzie Munroe
click to enlarge PHOTO BY LIZZIE MUNROE
Photo by Lizzie Munroe
There's no denying the hospitality and service industry is no longer a man's world. As the wake of female empowerment continues to tear down barriers in all fields, international brands are rising to the occasion to add  support to this worldwide movement.

For several years, Bacardi has been working to make this step a priority by establishing the Bacardi Women in Leadership Initiative, which ensure the advancement of women in leadership roles within the company, and the Bacardi S.H.E. Summit.

This year, the spirits-industry leader partnered with female-led industry organizations PUNCH — a James Beard Award-winning online magazine started by two young female spirits professionals — and Speed Rack, an all-female bartending competition that promotes women in the spirits industry while raising funds for local and national charities, to host the inaugural Spirit Forward Bacardi in Leadership Empowerment Series.

“This series is borne out of Bacardi’s desire to bring women and men from all parts of the spirits and hospitality industries together to not only educate, inspire, celebrate, and motivate each other, but also to activate and accelerate the development and advancement of all women in our industry," says Marlene Gordon, vice president, general counsel for Bacardi North America, and global lead for the brand's Women in Leadership Initiative. "By being true champions of women in the spirits trade and hospitality community, we help to create a more sustainable future for all.”

The five-city North American tour will begin in Houston February 12 and arrive in Miami Tuesday, February 27, with a day filled with enriching activities such as educational seminars, Q&A panels, networking opportunities, and hands-on workshops for the spirits trade community. The series will present Dana Cowin, former editor in chief of Food & Wine magazine and current chief creative officer of Chef’s Club International as the keynote speaker.

"The commitment to supporting and empowering women is more important than ever," Cowin says. “It is imperative that we all — men and women alike — work together to help inspire positive change and work toward equality on all levels. I am enormously excited to be a part of this summit for the hospitality and spirits trade community, a family of outstanding individuals that I am so honored to be a part of and dedicated to.”

Expect thought-provoking topics including sexual harassment, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace, as well as motivating story sessions on breaking stigmas and workshops on financial planning and self-defense.

Spirit Forward Bacardi in Leadership Empowerment Series. 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Tuesday, February 27, at the W Miami Hotel, 85 Brickell Ave., Miami; 305-503-4400. Tickets cost $40 via
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Paula Echevarria is a gregarious locavore always in search of a good cocktail and a great story. She was chosen by Tom Colicchio as one of his secret diners for Bravo's Best New Restaurant and is an Emmy Award-winning live-kitchen television producer.