Celebrating Women

>> Barossa women - Jenny O’Brien, Victoria McClurg, Leonie Boothby and Nicki Robins.

The theme, Each for Equal will be the focus for this Sunday’s International Women’s Day.

The Leader asked four Barossa women “In the last 10 years how has the perception of women in your industry changed?”

Angaston’s Nicki Robins, who is the Barossa Grape and Wine Association’s  viticulture development officer doesn’t think the perception of women in the wine industry has changed much in the past 10 years. 

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“We are always trying to encourage more girls to work in viticulture and winemaking – as I know from my 20 years’ experience in this industry it’s a great place to work! 

“Of course everyone, male or female, should be perceived on their merits and not their gender. 

“I hope by being positively active in the Barossa community I’m setting a good example for my 12 and 14 year old daughters and other young women in the community. I don’t try and shout about it, but prefer to work away quietly and lead by example.”

Founder of Barossa Valley Cheese Company, Victoria McClurg said the spotlight of females in the industry has grown significantly in the last 10 years. 

“We tend to think of the food manufacturing as having been male dominated, but there has always been many women influencing the nuances of food across all roles,” she said.

“In more recent times, we have seen a rise in publicity to showcase female success stories which has encouraged participation in food manufacturing. 

“I’m very proud to be part of this growth and encourage all people who are passionate about food, to lean in and work hard for our food sector in South Australia. It’s an exciting space to be in with a plethora of opportunities for the future in all skill sets.”

Angaston consultant, Leonie Boothby isn’t sure a huge amount has changed in the last 10 years in terms of perceptions of women in the industries she works in. 

“I’ve never felt held back or limited in my career choices as a female, largely thanks to the generations of women before mine who worked hard to break down barriers,” said Leonie.

“Having said that, we do still have gender pay gaps and there is still a level of judgement of women in terms of balancing family responsibilities with work and of women in leadership positions (appearance and demeanor) that isn’t applied to men – that needs to change. 

“To support that, we also need to change the cultural views that judge or limit men, like working part-time to manage family responsibilities.”

Jenny O’Brien who works with Tourism Barossa and has founded her own business, Barossa Wellness, said stress and burnout is one of the biggest issues on the planet and a third of people worldwide were stressed, worried and in pain last year! 

“It seems life is getting faster, there is a never ending ‘to do’ list, and we are increasingly disconnected to our friends, our families, our community and most importantly to ourselves,” said Jenny.

“While the wellbeing of the whole community is important to me I have a real interest in women’s wellness. Women are the backbone of communities everywhere and evidence shows that when we support women’s health, the wellbeing of the whole community improves.

 “Together with my incredibly talented business partner, Tanya Bingham, we have created Barossa Wellness. We wholeheartedly believe in helping people live their best life by introducing them to the tools and techniques to improve their overall health and wellbeing long-term.  

“When women come together, great things can and do happen. Together we can achieve so much more than we can alone!”

To read more about the region’s women in business, click the following link to view our Celebrating Women in Business promotion.

Celebrating women in business

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