To celebrate women’s achievements leading up to International Women’s Day, FB Rice invited six female leaders across a variety of industries to discuss this year’s IWD theme, #EachforEqual.
I'm the co-owner of Two Birds Brewing, and affectionately called "the other bird", as most people knew my business partner - brewer Jayne Lewis when we first launched, so I was dubbed the other bird from the start! More recently, my name has changed into Big Bird, after we won a few awards and I'm not exactly short either! For the first four to five years of our business, I looked after everything that wasn't brewing (the business side of our operation) everything from sales, marketing, logistics and administration.
Our team has grown substantially over the last three years and we now have 20 people that work in our business, so my role has changed somewhat and I am now able to focus more on just the marketing, key accounts and export trade. My days are still pretty varied and new challenges crop up regularly! The Brewing and Tasting Room operations at our brewery - "The Nest" in Spotswood, Melbourne, are overseen by my business partner Jayne.
We'll be celebrating our ninth year of brewing beer this year in June and have some big plans for our business to keep growing. As the co-owner with Jayne, we are still very much the key decision makers and steer our business through change and challenges. Prior to starting Two Birds, I had 10 years of experience in corporate marketing and product development.
Addressing issues head on is the only way. The beer industry openly accepts diversity in my experience and absolutely should, as we as Australians are inspired by an array of different cultures, genders and backgrounds to be involved in beer. It's great to see so many passionate people and that really does shine through when it comes to service and offerings from stakeholders, whether that be a part time bartender of a small bar or an analyst from a large multinational beverage co. As Australia's first female owned brewery, we were somewhat of a minority (versus males) in the industry, back in 2011, but that has changed dramatically over the last nine years. The Craft Beer Industry has open arms for newbies from all walks of life to come and enjoy the ride.
I'm not sure if my approach to my work life is the same or different to others, I only know the way that I go about tackling tasks and that's the right way for me and our vision. Maintaining my individualism has always been important to me and I regard authenticity highly. My approach is a definitely a "never give up" attitude and that has helped us strive for success. Success for me is a while off, so we've got a lot more hard work ahead before I think we can accomplish all that we are capable of. You haven't seen everything from Two Birds just yet!
We celebrate women all day and every day, as that's what makes us uniquely different. Our point of difference is being proud of being able to say we were (and still are to our knowledge) Australia's first brewery to be owned by two females.
It's not hard to motivate others when you believe in what you're doing, to your core. Part of our business DNA is gender equality, our story is pretty unique and after almost a decade, I still enjoy telling how and why we came to be. Our brand is the true meaning of authenticity and I think people sense that when they encounter us and our team on whatever level that might be.