Furthering its educational mission, the Bourbon Women Association has announced its new Amber Circle Diversity & Inclusion Initiative.
This new scholarship program builds on the organization’s Amber Circle mentoring program that started in 2019. It strives to empower women and those from underrepresented communities in the bourbon and spirits industry.
“We are so fortunate to be able to work in an industry that is always embracing change, and opening the doors to others so they can join us is one of the core missions of the Bourbon Women Association,” says Bourbon Women President Maggie Kimberl. “I am thrilled to be able to use the power of this first-ever female whiskey consumer organization to support women in growing their careers.”
The Amber Circle initiatives aims to create programs that benefit a more diverse and inclusive membership within Bourbon Women, and throughout the spirits industry. The program’s mission recognizes the importance of representation from all facets of human experience, including BIPOC women LGBTQIA+ women, and women of different abilities, educational levels and backgrounds.
The inaugural Amber Circle Diversity & Inclusion group of a dozen women will receive training through the Stave & Thief program. Founded in 2014, Stave & Thief was the first bourbon certification program recognized by the bourbon industry, the organization says, and is designated by the Kentucky Distillers Association as its “Official Bourbon Education Course.” The training is by Louisville-based Moonshine University.
The group will also receive additional training on networking, professional presence, personal brand development and more.
“Discovery happens when you push boundaries,” says Board Chair Heather Wibbels. “Amplifying the voices and experiences of the underrepresented in the bourbon community encourages the bourbon industry to reach out and invite more diversity in their outreach to consumers and their own companies. We’re reaching out to members of our community and the whiskey spirits industry to support this initiative to advocate change from the ground up.”
The initiative kicks off with a donation campaign to raise scholarship funds. Individual donations of $250 and corporate donations of $1,000 or more are encouraged, the organization says.
Donations in these amounts may be made through Bourbon Women’s website on the Amber Circle page. For larger donations, contact Maggie.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bourbon Women Association is a registered nonprofit organization.