Rising Above it All: 'Be The Change' Hosts The Wine Industry's First Ever Virtual Job Fair To Promote Diversity and Inclusion

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Joint initiative of Diversity in Wine & Spirits and Wonder Women of Wine provides a powerful platform to drive social change.

Be the Change Job Fair, a joint initiative between Diversity in Wine & Spirits, Wonder Women of Wine and other industry leaders, announced today the wine industry’s first ever virtual job fair focused on diversity and inclusion. The virtual job fair will be held on December 2-3 and will bring together like-minded companies, including job technology industry leaders Brazen and ForceBrands' specialized beverage hiring division BevForce, to enhance and diversify the wine industry. According to a 2019 study, women earn an average of $12,000 less than men in the beverage alcohol industry. Starting with the virtual job fair, Be the Change seeks to address these inequities and provide tangible and real solutions for the need to create diversity, equity, and inclusion in the wine industry. The virtual job fair also seeks to help reduce high unemployment rates due to COVID-19. Ultimately, the initiative aims to submit legislation in 2021 to implement social change for the entire consumer packaged goods industry. Registration for employers and applicants is open as of November 2nd.

Founded by four of the wine industry’s leading women in wine, and driven by the many recent impactful cultural movements around the world, Be the Change will focus on leveling the playing field for all through tech innovation:

  • Lia Jones, Founder and Executive Director, Diversity in Wine & Spirits
  • Rania Zayyat, Founder and President, Wonder Women of Wine
  • Cara Bertone, National Accounts Sales Manager, Folio Fine Wine Partners
  • Philana Bouvier, VP, Fine Wine, RNDC, Chair, WSWA Women’s Leadership Council

“I’ve been in food and beverage for over 20 years, and as a black queer woman, I am no stranger to being a token to meet an employer’s bottom line,” said, Lia Jones, Founder and Exec Director, Diversity Wine & Spirits. “Because of my experience, I was inspired to become a DEI professional to create a more inclusive, professional workplace for so many others like myself. This initiative is especially unique as we incorporate an employer vetting process to address the need for safe spaces in a diverse workplace.”

The event kicks off with a roundtable discussion amongst the most respected industry leaders in diversity, equity and inclusion who are committed to diversifying the job market and creating an inclusive and equitable future for all beverage professionals.

  • Dr. Hoby Wedler, Sensory Innovation Director - Sensepoint Design
  • Stephanie Gallo, C.M.O. - E. & J. Gallo
  • Bobby Stuckey, MS - Partner Frasca Food and Wine
  • Susana Balbo, Founder, Winemaker - Susana Balbo Wines
  • Philana Bouvier (Moderator), VP Fine Wine - Republic National Distributing Company
  • Lia Jones, Founder and Executive Director - Diversity in Wine & Spirits

“As a woman in wine in the industry and advocate for women empowerment, I immediately saw the negative effect that COVID-19 had on employment and diversity. I saw an opportunity to bring women that I admire together in an innovative space created to pave the way for a better future. We will implement change in multiple industries, starting with wine and tech, and also submit groundbreaking legislation,” said Be the Change Co-Founder, Philana Bouvier.

Be the Change job fair will revolutionize the way people connect in the wine industry by bringing together the innovation and strategy of two of the biggest names in virtual job platforms for job placement and recruitment, Brazen and ForceBrands, with some of the biggest and most influential players in the wine industry. The initial focus for Be the Change is the wine industry however the group aims to extend the program to other industries in the future.

The four-hour virtual recruitment event will host carefully vetted employers who are committed to DEI with space for up to 1,000 jobseekers and multiple job opportunities across the wine industry. Applicants will be able to upload their resume, chat with employers and network with other industry professionals, while exhibitors will receive candidate resumes and be able to post job openings. One hundred percent of exhibitor proceeds will support the nonprofits Diversity In Wine & Spirits and Wonder Women of Wine.

The virtual job fair is the first part of the Be the Change initiative. The group will lobby for transformative legislation in 2021 in regards to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In addition, a second virtual job fair will be held in March 2021 at the Wonder Women of Wine conference.

For more information about Be the Change, to schedule an interview or request images, please contact hello@bethechangejobfair.com.

About Be the Change, http://www.bethechangejobfair.com
Be the Change is committed to changing the status quo through action and policy. The initiative seeks to establish a diverse wine industry through facilitating job placement companies dedicated to creating real solutions with diversity and equity training, measurable results, and sustainable change. Founded by industry leaders Lia Jones, Rania Zayyat, Cara Bertone and Philana Bouvier, Be the Change will launch the Wine Industry’s first-ever Virtual Job Fair with a core focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in December 2020. Be the Change champions diversity efforts that elevate the professional growth of many identities, including gender, racial, sexual orientation, national origin, and people with disabilities.

About Brazen
Brazen helps employers succeed in the new all-virtual world by giving recruiters a variety of virtual recruiting tools like virtual hiring events, virtual career fairs, text, audio, and video chat, live video broadcasts, and more. By providing more options for candidates to connect with recruiting teams other than the traditional 'Apply Now,' Brazen is converting candidate interest into quality hires at twice the industry standard and in half the time. Brazen's virtual hiring event platform is designed specifically for talent acquisition and is used by the world's most respected companies including CVS Health, Starbucks and KPMG. Brazen has been the leading provider of virtual hiring event software since 2013.

About ForceBrands
ForceBrands is the leading specialized recruiting firm for the consumer products industry — we build the teams that build the brands. Our industry-specific divisions across beverage, food, beauty, cannabis, and pet care offer executive search services, board of director assembly, and a digital job board to connect directly with qualified candidates. We are 'people for a hire purpose' and strive to transform the way consumer product professionals of all levels identify employment opportunities and employers are connected to world-class talent. Go HIRE with ForceBrands. http://www.forcebrands.com

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Juliana Colangelo
Colangelo & Partners
973-951-6145
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