Oct 21, 2021Liked by Dave Infante

First, thank you for this great piece. Secondly, I am in the industry and I am pretty outspoken about envisioning a different craft beer industry where inclusivity and respect are the norms, just like registering new beers for label approval, it should be ingrained in our system (ideally). I do like the idea of unionizing, but I also know that realistically that might not be possible for the entire industry.

Unfortunately, cultural change is usually driven by marginalized communities, instead of the majority. Not ethically right, but it's reality. It's also hard and messy. It's going to take time, but I can't express enough how important education is in this situation. For breweries to grasp the level of organizational change that has to occur to avoid gender-based harassment and violence, it's going to take all hands on deck to put resources and guides and suggestions into the hands of decision-makers to drive change from within - that includes you, sir, as an industry journalist. We all need to pitch in, and articles like this, and the likes from Kate, Beth, Jess, Ruvani, and beyond, are exactly what our industry needs to keep this topic on everyone's mind.

IMO, if you pull back the curtain, it's not status quo. CEOs have been removed, boards have been evicted, managers fired, teams reworked - there are more companies now in our industry with codes of conduct than I have ever seen in my decade-plus career in this industry. But is our work done? Absolutely f-ing not.

It's going to take loud voices that resonate with our target audience to be a catalyst for change, so if you're a white, cis, male reading this, here's your call to action. We need big voices that the dominant majority will listen to and follow. We need support for marginalized communities that are struggling to be heard for more than being overly sensitive and not "one of the guys." It's going to take influential craft beer names stepping up, setting new standards, disrupting the current system, and showing small to medium-sized organizations that you can be socially just and run a profitable business. It's going to take more careful consideration of the people that we put in leadership positions. We need to standardize interviews, employee reviews, and promotions.

When one community in the majority dominates those at the margins, you will always have oppression, harassment, violence, and harm. It's a social construct of white supremacist culture that is killing our industry workforce. Eventually, there will be no one left if we don't institute change. When you design systems to benefit the most marginalized people, everyone benefits.

And for as frightening as I just made this sound, I'm optimistic. We're having the conversations to do the work. Organizations can explore ideas of flat management structures, they can adopt systems of checks and balances, like 3rd party reporting services, prevention training (continuous, not one and done), ESOPs, B-corps, authentic management, etc. - there are options for organizations of all sizes. To quote Anna from Frozen 2 (can you tell I'm a mom?), all we have to do is the next right thing. Just pick one.

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