The past 20 years have been a fruitful time for anyone who loves beer. Gone are the days when the only selections available were mass-produced, national brands that just aren’t very interesting. Today, states from New York to Oregon seems to be home to thriving microbreweries. The beers they produce are more interesting and tastier to many drinkers than national brands.
Of course, nothing’s perfect. While the craft brewing industry has taken off, it has plenty of problems internally. One of those is related to employment law. In many small breweries across the country, women and people of color say they face abnormal barriers. In fact, it has become apparent that sexual harassment is a common problem in this industry nationwide.
A look at the numbers
The statistics show that the brewing industry is overwhelmingly controlled by white males. For example, over 85% of the people who own craft breweries are white. Mostly, those are men. In fact, fewer than 8% of people who hold the title brewer in those environments are women.
In 2021, a woman working for a Massachusetts brewery became frustrated by sexist comments at work. It seems dealing with them was a common occurrence for her. She decided to go public with the issue, on Instagram. When she invited others to share their stories, it set off a chain of reckoning throughout the industry.
Women who work in breweries across the country shared their experiences. Employees at some facilities announced that they would be stopping work until changes were made. Already, some leaders in the brewing world have pledged to make change. And some leaders, who were named over and over, stepped down from their positions. Now that women in the industry are organizing, there’s hope that change can be made.
If you or a loved one is dealing with harassment at work, you don’t have to rely on social media to get results. Consider speaking with a lawyer who may help you understand if you have a case and how to pursue it.