Be the Change Job Fair, a joint initiative between Diversity in Wine & Spirits, Wonder Women of Wine, and other industry leaders, is the wine industry’s first virtual job fair focused on diversity and inclusion. The virtual job fair will be held on December 2-3 and will bring together like-minded companies including job technology industry leaders Brazen and ForceBrands’ specialized beverage hiring division BevForce, to enhance and diversify the wine industry.

We caught up with the event’s founders, four of the wine industry’s leading women:

Lia Jones, Founder and Executive Director, Diversity in Wine & Spirits
Rania Zayyat, Founder and President, Wonder Women of Wine
Cara Bertone, National Accounts Sales Manager, Folio Fine Wine Partners
Philana Bouvier, VP, Fine Wine, RNDC, Chair, WSWA Women’s Leadership Council

“I’ve been in food and beverage for over 20 years, and as a black queer woman, I am no stranger to being a token to meet an employer’s bottom line,” said Lia Jones, Founder and Exec Director, Diversity Wine & Spirits. “Because of my experience, I was inspired to become a DEI professional to create a more inclusive, professional workplace for so many others like myself. This initiative is especially unique as we incorporate an employer vetting process to address the need for safe spaces in a diverse workplace.”

Be The Change Virtual Job Fair will kick off with a revolutionary roundtable discussion amongst respected wine industry leaders in a conversation about exploring, implementing, and embracing true diversity and inclusion discussion for all.

Dr. Hoby Wedler, Sensory Innovation Director – Sensepoint Design
Stephanie Gallo, C.M.O. – E. & J. Gallo
Bobby Stuckey, Master Sommelier and Partner – Frasca Food and Wine
Susana Balbo, Founder, Winemaker – Susana Balbo Wines
Philana Bouvier (Moderator), VP Fine Wine – Republic National Distributing Company
Lia Jones, Founder and Executive Director – Diversity in Wine & Spirits

“As a woman in wine in the industry and advocate for women empowerment, I immediately saw the negative effect that COVID-19 had on employment and diversity. I saw an opportunity to bring women that I admire together in an innovative space created to pave the way for a better future. We will implement change in multiple industries, starting with wine and tech, and also submit groundbreaking legislation,” said Be the Change Co-Founder, Philana Bouvier.

Be the Change job fair will revolutionize the way people connect in the wine industry by bringing together the innovation and strategy of two of the biggest names in virtual job platforms for job placement and recruitment, Brazen and ForceBrands, with some of the biggest and most influential players in the wine industry. The initial focus for Be the Change is the wine industry however the group aims to extend the program to other industries in the future.

The four-hour virtual recruitment event will host employers who are committed to DEI with space for up to 1,000 jobseekers and multiple job opportunities across the wine industry. Applicants will be able to upload their resume, chat with employers, and network with other industry professionals, while exhibitors will receive candidate resumes and be able to post job openings. One hundred percent of exhibitor proceeds will support the nonprofits Diversity In Wine & Spirits and Wonder Women of Wine.

The virtual job fair is the first part of the Be the Change initiative. The group will lobby for transformative legislation in 2021 in regards to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In addition, a second virtual job fair will be held in March 2021 at the Wonder Women of Wine conference.