One of Australia’s best bartenders Nicola Dean (pictured) featured among a panel of leading bar professionals in the latest episode of Diageo Bar Academy’s podcast series, Bar Chat.
Dean, listed in the World Class Top 100 Australian Bartenders compilation, is a bartender at Melbourne bar Black Pearl.
She was asked to discuss the barriers that women face in the industry, in different parts of the world, and how they can be overcome together, with Diageo global cocktailian and host Lauren Mote.
Dean told listeners about Australia’s unity and community of support that goes on outside of mainstream channels: “There are many behind the scenes interactions that happen in the industry. For example, there’s a Facebook group called “Badass bartender babes”.
“You have to be invited to it and be accepted through some of the admins. But it’s basically a very private space where women can go and voice concerns about pay and issues they may have in the workplace.
“I posted in there a couple of weeks ago that a particular ferment wasn’t working for me so I was looking for some input and ideas on how to fix it and adjust it. It’s a safe space where women can go to speak to each other about everything in this wonderful industry.”
Dean was also asked for her thoughts on if women in the Australian hospitality industry were being placed in more positions of power.
She answered: “We’ve had a heck of a lot more women come into the ranks into venue manager and ownership roles. I’ve been fortunate to have a few of my friends have their own companies, distil their own spirits and wine. All of these women are part of my industry family, so there are definitely women to look up to.”
She also used her influence in the podcast to share industry advice for women and anyone needing help in Australia, stating: “You need to make sure the people around you are allies, regardless of their gender expression. Ensuring that they’re voicing their opinions when they see injustices happening in workplace is so important. Whether that’s equal pay, or whether they’ve experienced the ‘I want to speak to the male bartender because you don’t know anything,’ which is a complete lie more often than not.
“We just need to make sure we have that network of allies. I’m fortunate enough to have a incredible network surrounding me that support me and uplift me up. Which in turn, helps me do the same to the ‘greener’ bartenders and lift them up and say ‘hey, I’ve done this, and you can do this too’.”
Listen to all the panel had to say in the full podcast, available here.
Among the speakers chosen to take part in the International Women’s Day podcast was:
- Redempta Muluka – an experienced bartender and Diageo Bar Academy trainer based in Nairobi, Kenya.
- Minakshi Singh – Bar owner and consultant, and co-owner of Sidecar based in Delhi, India.
- Sebastian Maggi – industry consultant and co-owner of VinEsence based in Mexico, Latin America.
- Tristan Stephenson – bar owner, author and regular Bar Chat host based in the UK.