Women and Whisky: Revolutionising a Male-Dominated Industry

Women and Whisky: Revolutionising a Male-Dominated Industry

19th December 2019 by Ellie Collins

The alcohol industry and its advertising have historically held a gendered nature. As seen in the majority of hard alcohol or spirits businesses, the whisky industry is filled with gender stereotypes and has largely been associated with men. In the eyes of the advertiser and the customer, whisky has become the ultimate symbol of heteronormative, dominant, traditional masculinity, conjuring images of Mad Men era type adverting. The spirits typically targeted at women (such as gin and vodka) often reference the lightness of the spirit (usually related to calories) and designed to be mixed (or in other words, weakened). 

However, there are a plethora of women working in the whisky industry around the world, challenging these stereotypes. One woman, in particular, Annabel Thomas, co-founder of Nc’nean, an independent organic whisky distillery on the west coast of Scotland. In an interview with About Time Magazine, Annabel revealed that on some whisky brand Instagram accounts, pictures of dogs feature more regularly than images of women, and it’s marketers being “lazy or worse, prejudiced”. However, this is completely unrepresentative of whisky drinkers, of whom, women are thought to make up around 37%

As part of her ambition to change stereotypes and encourage more women to consider a career in whisky, Nc’nean ran an internship earlier this year, for two women to work at the distillery for a week, which had an overwhelming number of applicants, demonstrating a clear demand! 

The brand name was chosen after a pagan goddess, Neachneohain. She was a huntress, a guardian of nature and walked her own path, which Annabel thought perfectly represented the distillery’s sustainable and independent style. Inspiring the brand colours and logo, the goddess is affiliated with the forests and moon, so they chose lots of plants and trees found surrounding the distillery. Nc’nean is dedicated to sustainable production; all products are certified organic, the distillery only uses renewable energy, and they recycle their waste products (e.g. spent grain) back to the farm. 

Scotch whisky is susceptible to further stereotypes; as a drink for the older, elite and old fashioned. By creating a modern, organic Scotch, Annabel is targeting a more diverse, younger consumer. Currently seeking to raise £1M in funding, you can support her campaign on our platform here

We have a number of incredible entrepreneurs challenging gender stereotypes who are currently raising on Seedrs:

We’re incredibly proud to support and fuel the success of gender diverse startups! According to Beauhurst, crowdfunding is the most gender-equitable investor type, with 24% of deals. According to a new study conducted by Joelson and Seedrs, 100% of female-founded businesses, and 90% of male and female co-founded businesses, reached or exceeded their Crowdfund targets on the platform last year in 2018. In contrast, 80.9% of male founded companies reached their targets.

Ellie Collins

Ellie Collins

Content Marketing Manager

Digital Agency Kent