A Wine Intelligence research certifies that in 2021 55% of winelovers are women. But in the vineyard and in the cellar the distance with men remains. "More concessions against the gender gap:'' the proposal by Donne del Vino.

A female revolution is underway in the world of wine. In fact, in 2021, for the first time, women outnumbered men among Italian wine lovers, gaining a share of 55% of regular consumers, a sharp increase on last year’s 49%. The historic overtaking, documented by Wine Intelligence for the UIV Observatory carried out in collaboration with Vinitaly, is driven in particular by the interest of younger consumers, between 18 and 35 years old, who prove to be the most involved segment of the “wine” category. “The female relationship with wine has passed its experimental phase” explained Pierpaolo Penco, Italy country manager of Wine Intelligence “Today women, and especially younger women, approach wine with a more mature awareness. This is associated with a transversal increase in product knowledge, which has encouraged an increase in average spending on the internal market.”

Still too few women are involved in production and in the vineyards

If women drink more than men it doesn’t mean that the imbalances on the working aspect have smoothed out. The University of Siena, Donne del vino and Unione italiana vini have conducted a study, presented at wine2wine in Verona, which testifies to the progressive growth of the female role in the top management, but also that considerable distances still remain with men and the relationship between private life and work is still complex.

Data shows that only 10% of women are involved in production and in the vineyards, that almost 80% are involved in commercial, communication and marketing functions and in agritourism-dining. Another element of the survey confirms that between 2018 and 2020, 7.6% of women left their position or applied for part-time jobs after the birth of a child. This is associated with both a diversity in contracts (there is more precariousness in women) and wage differences that end up penalizing career advancement. The study also reveals that there is a lack of public and private daycare centers, kindergartens and preschools near companies, with service costs that are not compatible with agricultural income. Frequency in episodes of intimidation, abuse and violence against women are still worrying: in the last 3 years, in 6.9% of the companies interviewed. A definitely underestimated figure, considering that many episodes are not reported at the top.

The proposal of Donne del vino

The proposal of the Women of Wine, chaired by Donatella Cinelli Colombini, is to “maintain the current advantages for female-run farms, introduce concessions and scores in the rankings, for companies that have the same average salary and the same career progression for men and women.” Lastly, economic support for rural municipalities who decide to support parenthood, not only with structures, but also with services. Journalist, writer and industry popularizer Laura Donadoni proposed the introduction of courses against gender-based violence following the example of what is already happening in California. In addition, she added “we need to promote flexibility actions in duties and working hours that facilitate women in career advancement and in taking care of the family or children: Smart working, the possibility of on-site babysitting, transport service to and from for kindergarten or school, shift flexibility” Her idea included ​​introducing a Pink Glass Award for companies that have virtuous protocols for gender equality.

by Loredana Sottile