A decade of progress for women in the Australian grape and wine sector

Ten years on from one of the world’s first published studies of its kind, there is some good news for women’s advancement in key roles in the Australian grape and wine sector.

A new report Women in the Australian wine sector: How have the numbers changed in CEO, winemaking, viticulture, and marketing roles since 2013? conducted by Dr Jeremy Galbreath of Strateos Group, funded by Wine Australia, has revealed an increase in the representation of the studied roles in the Australian grape and wine community.

Dr Galbreath’s original study assessed gender composition of the wine sector over the period 2007–2013. The new study covering 2021–2023 has shown that nationally, the number of:

  • women in a CEO role is now 33.7 per cent, an increase of 21 per cent over the previous findings of 12.7 per cent
  • women in a winemaking role is 16.7 per cent, an increase of 7.9 per cent over the previous findings of 8.8 per cent
  • women in a viticulture role is now 21.5 per cent, an increase of 11.5 per cent over the previous findings of 10 per cent, and
  • women in wine marketing is now 58.4 per cent, an increase of 4.9 per cent over the previous findings of 53.5 per cent.

Dr Galbreath said that the report highlights particularly strong evidence of progression of women in CEO roles compared to the 2007–2013 averages.

“A decade ago, only around 13 per cent of women held CEO roles in the Australian grape and wine sector, which was on par with the average for women CEOs in Australia at that time of around 10–12 per cent. The latest data indicates that the Australian grape and wine community has increased representation of women in CEO roles to 33.7 per cent, surpassing the estimated Australian average of 22 per cent,” Dr Galbreath said.

“The number of women in winemaking and viticulturist roles have shown good increases as well, while the number of women in marketing roles remains relatively steady. While these results are encouraging, in critical roles such as winemaking and viticulture there is room for improvement.”

Wine Australia with Australian Grape & Wine’s Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in Wine Committee are working together to identify existing resources, gaps and opportunities to help the Australian grape and wine sector implement and demonstrate equity and inclusion outcomes. Dr Galbreath’s report provides valuable insight to support that endeavour.

Australian Grape & Wine’s Diversity and Equality in Wine Committee Chair, Ali Laslett said “While we are happy to see a shift in the dial with these results, there is still some way to go on many fronts, including the gender pay gap. This research provides us with significant evidence over a 10-year period and we are grateful to Dr. Galbreath for conducting this very important research for us again.”

Wine Australia General Manager Research and Innovation Dr Liz Waters said evidence shows that women in the sector need sustained support to help achieve their career aspirations, particularly in senior and leadership positions.

“Since the original report was released, significant efforts have been made by many in the sector to promote the achievements of women and raise awareness of the importance of diversity, equality and inclusion in our sector,” Dr Waters said.

“This new report shows an improvement in our gender representation over the past decade, but there is more that can be done and it remains an ongoing priority, as identified by the sector in consultations for the One Grape & Wine Sector Plan.”

In the report, Dr Galbreath makes several recommendations to keep improving the share of roles held by women in the Australian grape and wine sector, including pay equality, business ownership, regional women’s networks, mentorship and ‘male champions’, data reporting graduate career pathways, and consideration of benchmarks to aim for greater share of women in underrepresented roles.

The report can be downloaded from wineaustralia.com.

/Public Release. View in full here.