The Irish Food and Drink industry is thriving with fantastic women, women who work hard and smart, women who create, grow, cook, sell, clean, teach and promote Irish food and drink. These women are often mentioned when we’re told that the hospitality industry is not the sexist dinosaur it used to be but we are from where we want to be which is a fair and equitable industry. An industry where everyone is recognised based on their merit and not disregarded because of their gender.

Instead of getting grumpy, I’ve decided to do something about it. If we all do something small, things will change. They will. It will get better, things will be fairer and I will sleep easier. So I’ve gone and created two bits of bobs which I hope you’ll find helpful.

The first thing is a list, a list of the women of the Irish Food and Drink industry. It’s a work in progress and I’m hoping that you will help me improve the list which you can find here. Essentially, I’m hoping to create a great register of the women in those industries. The first reason is simple, I want to help promote those women, so when a festival organiser, a journalist, a radio or podcast producer or a TV host is looking to interview a chef, or a distiller, or a brewer or a barista or a cheese maker or a butcher or a chocolatier or one of the many professional specialties, they have a handy list of women available to them so that they can never say again “oh I didn’t know we had women butchers”. This list will not be commercialised or monetised, well at least not by me, I’m only hoping it helps women land paying gigs and some exposure. I’m hoping this list will also simply help women connect with each other. The list is small for now but will grow .

If you want to be on the list you can do two things. Firstly, you can add yourself by requesting access to the google doc (you will need to be on a laptop for this to work). If you do not have access to a laptop, you can simply email me at katia@properfood.ie and I will add you.

The second thing I did was to transfer the list onto a map, you know how I love my maps. By making the list more visual, I’m hoping women will find it easier to connect with each other and it will also be useful for the same reason as the google doc list will be.

If you find yourself on the list and do not want to be on it, please contact me and I will remove you immediately, no questions asked. The information contained is available through public domain or has been provided by the women themselves.

So please help me, spread the word, think of the women who might benefit from them and let them know about it, and if you have their permission please add them to the list and I’ll update the map with them myself.

Happy International Woman’s Day, the fight is still on, but we are most definitely going the right way.

A very big thank you to Damien Mulley for his technical help.

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