So it would seem as if the so-called glass ceiling had been pretty well broken, oenologically speaking.
Alas, it turns out to be more perception than fact.
According to a comprehensive and fascinating new website:Â womenwinemakers.com,Â less than 10 percent of the winemakers in California are women.
The website is a non-profit endeavor created by Dr. Lucia Albino Gilbert, Professor of Psychology and Counseling Psychology at Santa Clara University.
Itâ€™s the result of Dr. Gilbertâ€™s research efforts, which involved talking to winery personnel and faculty at universities with winemaking programs and making use of the winery index published by Wines & Vines and a variety of wine books.
Dr. Gilbert is an academic psychologist with an interest in womenâ€™s career paths, particularly in male-dominated fields. She was interested in testing the widely-held belief that 15-20 percent of the stateâ€™s winemakers are women.
It turned out that Southern California had as few as 4 percent female winemakers, while Napa and Sonoma led with the biggest numbers of 12.2 and 12.4 respectively.
Womenwinemakers.com is an easily searchable site; you can search by the winemakerâ€™s first or last name or by the name of the winery.
This last option is particularly revealing. I entered quite a few winery names just to see if they had ever had a woman at the helm and received the message â€œNo Resultsâ€ in return. It seemed like a pretty clear â€“ if unscientific â€“ way of telling Dr. Gilbert was on to something.
I hope when Dr. Gilbert has a bit more time on her hands â€” or maybe a few dozen more research assistants â€“Â sheâ€™ll create a website to track women winemakers in the other 49 states. [WSJ]
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