Brown Forman sets an example over diversity
Whiskey seller Brown Forman has named the person most likely to take the reigns at its distillery when current master distiller Chris Morris steps down: Elizabeth McCall. The announcement comes at a time when companies the world over are releasing (sometimes embarrassing) disparities between male and female wages for the same positions. It is particularly noteworthy for the fact that whiskey distilling tends to be a male-dominated world, and the role of master distiller – the most important person when it comes to creating top quality whiskeys – tends to be male too.
Brown Forman’s share price has gone up by 34% so far this year
SOURCE: Yahoo Finance
McCall, who holds a master’s degree in psychology, joined Brown Forman in 2009. She is a “master taster” – adept at distinguishing subtle nuances in the spirit – and has just been appointed assistant master distiller to Mr. Morris. For the last nine years, she has trained diligently under him, and she is expected to follow in his footsteps in the company.
Morris explained their relationship: "It's how our industry goes; I had a master who I was trained under, and I'm the seventh master distiller at the company. We really respect that lineage. You learn all of these secrets and processes that are handed down from generation to generation. What I'm doing with Elizabeth is passing that legacy onto her."
McCall, who Morris describes as having a passion and “an eye for quality” which can’t be taught, made the following statement to the press: "It's unique that I am a woman in this role, just given the history of the titles in the industry. But at Brown-Forman, I've always been surrounded by women. ... It's never been weird for a woman to have a seat at the table and to voice her opinions.”
“It feels like a huge amount of responsibility. But I also have so much pride and understanding of the big picture of it all. ... I'm extremely honored and humbled to be taking on this role; I almost don't have the words to really describe it. It's very surreal. I get choked up and emotional thinking about what lies ahead."
Dominion holds Brown Forman in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.
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