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Spirits Distributor Mangrove Global has partnered with the incredible team at Hawksmoor to launch a pioneering new series of seminars for their teams – and the great news is, there are places available to anyone in the trade. The series is designed to give back to women across Hawksmoor’s workforce and drive change throughout the industry through inspiring thought-leaders and their lived experience. It’s also designed to be a positive space that addresses the existing obstacles to equality, where everyone can share their personal experiences. Suitably so, the first event will take just in time for International Women’s Day on 8 March, on the topic, Smashing through the Glass Ceiling – Empowering Women to Rise to the Top.

Bringing together exceptional women from across the industry, a panel of inspiring speakers will discuss their careers, the challenges they’ve faced, and what the industry needs more of to level the playing field for all. The event will take place from 12pm – 2pm on Tuesday 5 March 2024, in the relaxed setting of The Lowback at Canary Wharf. Joining the panel are:

Jen Baernreuther, Commercial Director at Speciality Drinks

Part of the founding trade team at Speciality Drinks, Jen is a dynamic and determined spirits expert with extensive first-hand experience of the global drinks market. Beyond being fanatical about fine spirits, Jen has a particular appreciation for new-to-market, specialist, and luxury products. The wider Speciality Drinks Group includes The Whisky Exchange, leading purveyor of whiskies and fine spirits.

Anna Sebastian, F&B Hospitality Consultant and Founder of Celebrate Her

In her role as an independent Hospitality Consultant, Anna has a number of impressive names on her roster, including The Savoy and Raffles Hotel. But beyond her day job, she is a passionate advocate for women in Hospitality, founding Celebrate Her – a platform that aims to support and promote gender equality in the industry. She also covers the topic, as well as other contentious issues, in her regular articles for Class Magazine.

Denise Wilson OBE, Chief Executive at The FTSE Women Leaders Review

With an esteemed career as a Senior Executive in the Energy, Oil & Gas, and Financial Services Sectors, Denise Wilson OBE now holds the role of Chief Executive at the FTSE Women Leaders Review. The independent review, sponsored by UK Government, is a framework which aims to improve the representation of women across the Boards and leadership teams of the FTSE 350 and the UK’s largest private companies. She is also an executive coach and mentor to senior business women across the globe.

Ashera Goonewardene, R(h)um Brand Manager at Mangrove Global

Ashera joined Mangrove Global from the SPIRIBAM portfolio, upon the company’s merger with Group Bernard Hayot. An aficionado on all things Rhum Agricole, and a frequent industry commentator for the topic, she is a vocal advocate of the category, with an unrivalled knowledge of the history, culture, terroir, and community behind Caribbean produced varieties.

Not only will this event provide nuggets of knowledge and experience, but in typical style, it will also serve up some delicious cocktails, designed by Hawksmoor’s own talented female mixologists. The base spirit for the cocktails will be none other than Chairman’s Reserve, a St Lucian Rum with its own impressive creds in relation to women in spirits. The company’s CEO, Margaret Monplaisir is the first female chair of Caribbean Rum body, WIRSPA, and 50% of St Lucia Distilleries’ workforce is female. Saint Lucia itself is one of only two sovereign states in the world, named after a woman (Saint Lucy of Syracuse) – the other being Ireland.

If you’d like to attend and soak up the insight from this group of wonderful women, an RSVP is essential. Tickets are already booking up quickly so email to secure your place.