Empowering the role of women in the coffee industry

Only few days ago has been the International women’s day, 8th of March. As I am doing since many years now I bought myself some flowers and opened a bottle of red Italian wine. I’ve decided to refuse flowers in the last years, I found this habit something not true, something that just to follow the trend you buy flowers and that’s all. The next day everything flows like everyday: not respecting a woman when she talks, not giving attention to her needs, being rude and unpolite, tending to minimize a woman’s need and so on..

Since I began working in the coffee industry, so in very recent time – only 3 years ago – I found myself couple of times to doubt about mu person, my capabilities and my wilingness to continue this coffee journey. I see so many women that have a place in the coffee field – but this is true actually for every industry not only ours – behaving like men only to give a strong image of themselves, to feel and to be seen as powerful, trained and ready to share their knowledge. This is something that hurts. Many times I had the perception that if you dress or put make up on, in few words, if you look fascinating, your “power” will rapidly disappear.

Women in the coffee field are so important. They work hard picking coffee cherries, they run sometimes small cooperatives of farmers, but then the chain changes. Top positions are too often held by male managers in the green sector, in the roasteries, in the training and in the coffee communication. Well in the last few years something started to change thanks also to new generations of young ladies that take over their parents companies in order to bring knowledge and freshness.

Women have to prove they have studied, they are trained, they can manage a team, they know well the raw materials, how to transform them, how to train a team, how to motivate someone and so on. Men are often took more serious regarding these single aspects of our job. Still few female trainers exist, few female mentors, few female barista teams, few female companies that have female roasters, buyers, baristas and so on.

My “dream” is to build strong realtionships with women because often we are our worse enemy: sometimes it’s easier to be taken seriously by a man rathar than a woman, even more difficult if she has a higher seniority than you. I wish I could find a female mentor on my path or build a female team that believes that together we can work better instead of trying to sabotage each other.

Of course we have to be open and ready to confront each other with challenges, with other people that have more experience than us, with difficulties in our private life and in our daily activities but only if we are aware of the great power we have if we work together we can succeed in this sector. Never stop experiencing, never stop studying, going deeper in the themes we love and the sectors that fascinates us.

Study hard, work hard but don’t forget to play hard too.

I wish that every girl, woman, mother, sister, female human being that reads this post will find a little bit of inspiration, a little bit of courage to show that unite we can produce and work better, that if we support each others work the coffee industry will grow, that if we put our sense of care and love in our daily activity this will be the best experience for our potential customers and even for our co-workers.

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