International Women's Day 2022 - sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro

Wells celebrate female staff

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Female empowerment: Wells celebrates female staff for International Women's Day (Getty/ andresr)
Female empowerment: Wells celebrates female staff for International Women's Day (Getty/ andresr)

Related tags Women Diversity International women's day Wells Gender

Wells have celebrated International Women’s Day today (8 March) through showcasing stories of the company’s female staff.

More than 53% of all UK staff at Wells & Co identify as female, including 50% of both its executive board and leadership team. Across the company’s 17 managed sites in France, 45% of employees are women. What’s more, 49% of its leased and tenanted estate are landladies. 

The brewing industry is a sector predominately made up of men, with females making up a small percentage. However, the gender imbalance is being addressed. 

Olga Athanasiadou, assistant brewer at Brewpoint in Bedford, Bedfordshire, said: “It’s not just Wells that needs more women, it’s the brewing industry as a whole and that’s because some people need to realise it doesn’t matter about gender – everyone can get the job done.” 

Long-standing female members of staff at Wells include Philippa Stanbridge, business development executive, who begun in 1989 as a temp has not looked back. She has held roles including customer service, telesales and help desk.

Step in the right direction

At the company Stanbridge has seen both her 21st​ and 50th​ birthday celebrations, and has married and had two children. She commented: “My son joined the company at the age of 17 as an engineer apprentice and my daughter now works at Brewpoint so keeping it in the family!” 

What’s more, Kym Downing, who started with Wells as the first female salesperson in the 90’s, and is now head of commercial services, having been at the company for 34 years. Business intelligence developer Karen Rich is another long standing member of staff. 

Wells retail director Shirley Couchman believed it was “amazing” to see so many staff at Wells were women. “This is a huge step in the right direction for us as a company and sets an example for other regional brewers to follow,” she said.  

She continued: “We’ve recently partnered with Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure (WiHTL), a collaboration company devoted to increasing diversity and inclusion across hospitality. Two of our team are currently on their global female leaders programme and two members of the senior leadership team, including myself and family member Peter Wells, being mentors."

Empowering women

She added: “Our commitment to empowering and growing the female leaders of our team does not stop there and we are looking forward to showcasing this commitment over the next 12 months. 

“I’m immensely proud of all of the women at Wells and look to any individual reading this to know there is absolutely a place for you in hospitality. This sector is rewarding, but most of all fun! There are amazing career growth opportunities throughout.” 

Wells communications and marketing manager Lauren Troiano said it was “great” to research and heart stories about women at Wells.  

“My mum worked for Wells as the secretary to the architect, so the company has always been close to my heart and it’s great working on campaigns where I can see not only progression, but commitment to creating action against gender inequality,” she concluded. 

Wells will be featuring its female staff with the hashtag #WomenOfWells across corporate social media platforms each day this week. 

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