Now seems like the ideal time to review your brewery’s sexual harassment policy and complaint and investigation procedures. Craft beer’s recent MeToo moment has sparked an industry wide call for more action and accountability, but how do you go about doing that? As CBB contributor Julie Rhodes noted, education is a large part of prevention, so I highly suggest you read her ongoing series “Beer, Bros and Business.” We’ve also compiled a list, from self-defense classes to anonymous reporting platforms, of ways to address and combat sexual harassment in the brewhouse and taproom.
Here’s another great resource: The Connecticut Brewers Guild and the local chapter of the Pink Boots Society, a great non-profit that supports women in the brewing profession, have unveiled a four-point anti-sexual harassment action plan. From the press release:
“Our roles as Pink Boots Society Chapter Leaders are not taken lightly, This organization is in place to provide educational opportunities and support to our members and other womxn in the brewing industry. We have a responsibility to our community within and outside of our industry to provide resources and take action against sexism and discrimination in all forms” said Mariah Billian and Abigail Bibens, Connecticut Chapter Leaders of the Pink Boots Society. “We are looking forward to further collaboration with the Connecticut Brewers Guild, local
organizations, and members of our communities to find real solutions to a long-standing problem within our workplaces and beyond. We invite all inhabitants of our home state of Connecticut to join us in implementing necessary changes in support of diversity and inclusion and encourage other states to step up with us in unison.”
Their four-point anti-sexual harassment action plan is as follows:
- Strengthen our bylaws and Guild membership removal from breweries convicted of wrongdoing. Improve and enhance our bylaws, which include a Code of Conduct for brewery owners, employees, and consumers and ramifications for misconduct.
- Launch a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to increase gender, race, and sexual orientation equity in the industry. The Diversity & Inclusion Committee formation will be responsible for helping to bring the cultural, ethical, and changes necessary to provide an equitable brewing industry. The D&I Committee will provide resources through WeVow, such as Reporting an Incident and Training. If an individual reports sexual harassment as a victim, they will be automatically entitled to 3 free counseling sessions, which typically take place in person. They will be notified immediately upon submitting their report and given directions on how to access it.
- Work with anti-sexual harassment experts to bolster access to anonymous reporting. D&I Committee will be working with third-party HR specialists to escalate Incident Reports, as necessary, and communicate effectively with brewery owners and operators.
- Increase awareness of “see something, say something.” Creation of Anti-Sexual Harassment posters for display in brewery taprooms with Code of Conduct for staff and consumers.
Pappas also noted: “If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual harassment, or if you’re witnessing it, please say something immediately. Contact the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities at (860) 541-3400 or 1-800-477-5737. Alternatively, you can report online at www.ct.gov/CHRO. Another option is to contact empowerwork immediately to speak confidentially with a trained peer counselor free of charge.”
“We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment,” said Phil Pappas, the executive director of the Connecticut Brewers Guild. “One sexual harassment incident is one too many. That’s why we’ve partnered with the Pink Boots Society to strengthen our anti-sexual harassment policies as an industry. The result: a robust four-point anti-sexual harassment action plan that not only will combat sexual harassment in Connecticut’s brewing industry but also serve as a model for other states to adopt. Because whether it’s in Connecticut or any other state in our great nation, we need to all do our part to end sexual harassment.”
For even more ways to eliminate sexual harassment in brewing, click here.