On 25th September, over one hundred women working in the UK wine trade attended Women in Wine LDN’s flagship event ‘Reflections on Leadership’, to celebrate the past, present and future of leadership in the industry.
Moderated by Women in Wine LDN’s co-founder Regine Lee, the panel consisted of Laura Jewell, MW Regional Manager EMEA for Wine Australia, Tamara Roberts, CEO of Ridgeview and WSTA Board Member, and Sarah Kemp, Managing Director at Sarah Kemp Communications Ltd and former Managing Director of Decanter Magazine.
Leadership styles was discussed among the panellists. As Sarah commented, “You can’t define being a leader without your team. For me, it’s always been about how you craft a team. Diversity and a mixture of personalities and talents is very important.”
When discussing leading in challenging times and growth, Tamara reflected that most of her career has been focused change management, from establishing formal policies and procedures for the burgeoning business to managing an evolving company with a family element. “To me, the most important thing for change is bringing people with you – to illustrate the benefits of change, why its important and what would happen if we don’t do it.”
Other interesting themes discussed were on the balance of being feared or liked and the overall importance of being a respected professional, the influence that leaders can exercise over wine consumers and how to proactively support women to be leaders in their careers and how.
Laura Jewell MW, Regional Manager EMEA for Wine Australia, gave a keynote address which reflected what she had learnt over the years in terms of leadership; to prioritise your goals, be aware of your strengths and weaknesses, be honest with yourself, think strategically, and to learn when to talk and when to listen, be accountable and responsible, take risks and be creative.
The opening address was conducted by Women in Wine co-founder, Sula Richardson, who commented on the importance of the evening and introduced the speakers. Marcia Waters MW gave an introduction to the evening and highlighted the history of the livery company and her role in it; she was slated to be the first female Master Vintner in 2019 (see postscript below). The panel was closed by Women in Wine LDN’s Hannah Van Susteren, who summarised the main points and put forth how we can continue this important conversation in the future.
The event was held at the Vintner’s Hall, which has 700 years of history in the City of London which continues to have trade, social, charitable and educational interests today. The event was sponsored by the Vintners’ Company and Borough Wines and Ridgeview who sponsored sponsored the wines.
We were deeply saddened to hear that Marcia Waters MW passed away in March 2019 of cancer. She was a true inspiration, having achieved so much in her career and was imminently to be the first female Master Vintner. She has left us too soon, but not without first leaving a legacy for all of us. Her generosity with her time and wisdom will always be appreciated.