Main image

WSET's new education partnership to promote opportunities for women in beer industry

Main image

WSET, the global leader in drinks education, is delighted to announce that it is supporting the Women in Beer Mentorship Programme and becomes its new education partner.

The mentorship programme, which was set up by Amelie Tassin, the founder of Women in Beer last July, supports women who work in, and want to build a career in, the UK beer industry.  

Women in Beer is a community of women who like beer. They create ‘safe spaces’ for their members to explore and learn about craft beer and run the Women in Beer Festival (WiB Fest) in Edinburgh which will be held in October 2024.

The mentorship programme aims to give women starting their careers, or projects related to beer, the chance to pair with more experienced women working in the industry who can help expand their career opportunities. These mentors who share their skills, advice, and connections, come from all sectors of the industry, including hospitality, brewing, marketing, and packaging.

WSET will be sponsoring the next cohort of mentees for the programme and offer a Level 1 Award in Beer course for all mentees in advance of the Women in Beer Festival. 

WSET’s announcement, which comes just ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March, highlights its strong commitment to increasing diversity within the drinks industry. The sponsorship is part of WSET’s Charitable Initiatives programme which – working with the organisation’s partners - aims to create positive social impact through purposeful activity around the world.

All mentees taking part in the programme benefit from dedicated mentoring time, as well as free access to a series of webinars and events offered by other sponsors for the mentorship programme. They include Crisp Malt, Simpsons Malt, Lallemand Brewing, Yakima Chief, Barth Haas X and Kegstar. 

Natalya Watson, WSET’s Business Development Manager - Beer, said:We are proud to support this pioneering initiative that champions greater inclusivity in the beer industry. Women are traditionally under-represented in this industry, especially in leadership roles, and consequently can feel isolated. This programme helps women find support networks and build connections, accelerating their career development and giving them confidence to pursue new opportunities. At WSET we are committed to creating positive impact by using our influence to help shape a more diverse, inclusive and sustainable global drinks industry. We have also recently launched our Level 1 and Level 2 Awards in Beer, so this new partnership is a perfect fit for us.”

Amelie Tassin, Founder of Women in Beer added: “We are absolutely delighted to have WSET as our Education Partner. Being associated with such a prestigious organisation is a fantastic opportunity for our mentees. The launch of WSET’s new beer qualifications is a very positive sign for the industry, and I am very proud our mentees will get the chance to learn more about beer and earn a qualification at the end of the programme. We believe education is key, and it’s so important for us to be able to give them the knowledge and skills that will be essential to their career in the beer industry.” 

Jess Dendle, Marketing undergraduate at Cloudwater Brew and a mentee in the Women in Beer Mentorship programme, said: “Overall, the Women in Beer Mentorship Programme has been an invaluable experience for me. Having a mentor I can trust and ask for help and advice with no judgement, has developed my confidence and helped me grow as a woman in beer. The educational aspect has been excellent and the inclusion of the WSET Level 1 Award in Beer in the mentorship programme is the cherry on the top. It's so valuable to be able to have a beer qualification to my name, cementing my knowledge within the field. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such a strong and passionate community of women in the beer industry.”

The first part of the pilot for the Women in Beer Mentorship Programme ran from September 2023 to March 2024 and received over 45 applications for only 12 places. 

The second part of the pilot will run from April to October 2024, with results from both pilots presented in October 2024 at the Women in Beer Festival. The event is a celebration of women in the industry and features a wide range of events including tap takeovers, talks, and tastings.

Applications are now open for the next round of mentorship for the Women in Beer programme. More details are available on the Women in Beer website.

To learn more about the beer qualifications sign up to the newsletter.