Beer and Sexism – The Untold Story

When men align with other men who hold positions of power, they are better able to access the privilege associated with that power. This includes things like having direct access to high-profile people, job opportunities, high-profile assignments, and rewards at work. Homosocial behaviors provide men with ways to develop relationships with other men in positions of power, to their benefit. There are many ways these behaviors show up in workplaces, but they tend to result in employees tolerating and even accepting bullying, sexual harassment, discrimination, and exclusionary behaviors. Organizational banter is a great example of this and generally includes verbally attacking colleagues under the guise of “joking” to maintain dominance over others. It also involves making sexist jokes or derogatory comments based on people’s identities that diminish a person’s self-esteem and perceived value. When leaders remain silent, they sanction these behaviors, which also validates the people who engage in them. This can create an entire workplace culture that is hostile toward women.  

 A good example of this is the craft brewing industry. In May of this year, NPR reported that Brienne Allan, a brewery worker, went to Instagram to complain about sexual harassment in her workplace and thousands of other women – and a few men – chimed in with their stories including offhanded, rude comments, sexual violence and sexual harassment, as well as racism from owners and superiors. The Craft Brewing industry is being forced to reckon with the sexism, racism and sexual assault allegations.  

On today’s episode we are joined by Founder and Executive Director of Infinite Ingredient, Katie Muggli, who has been in the hospitality industry for over 20 years, with five years specific to the craft beer industry. Kate founded Infinite Ingredient to actively support the mental and physical well-being of individuals working in the craft beverage industry through outreach, education, and access to resources.  She shares her story and reflects on the ‘me too’ movement and its ripples through the craft beer industry.