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Decade of progress for women in Australian wine

Published:  21 May, 2024

A new report marks significant progress for women in the Australian grape and wine industry, ten years after the first study of its kind was published.

The report, Women in the Australian Wine Sector, conducted by Dr Jeremy Galbreath of Strateos Group and funded by Wine Australia, reveals increased representation of women in key roles.

Dr Galbreath’s original 2007-2013 study assessed the gender composition in the wine sector. The new study, spanning 2021-2023, shows notable increases for women in CEO, winemaking and viticulture roles.

Highlighting the significant progress in CEO roles compared to the 2007-2013 averages, Dr Galbreath said: “A decade ago, only around 13% of women held CEO roles in the Australian grape and wine sector, which was on par with the average for women CEOs in Australia at that time of around 10–12%. The latest data indicates that the Australian grape and wine community has increased representation of women in CEO roles to 33.7%, surpassing the estimated Australian average of 22%.”

He added: “The number of women in winemaking and viticulturist roles have shown good increases as well, while the number of women in marketing roles remains relatively steady. While these results are encouraging, in critical roles such as winemaking and viticulture there is room for improvement.”

  • Women in CEO roles: 33.7%, up from 12.7%

  • Women in winemaking roles: 16.7%, up from 8.8%

  • Women in viticulture roles: 21.5%, up from 10%

  • Women in wine marketing: 58.4%, up from 53.5%

Wine Australia and Australian Grape & Wine’s Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in Wine Committee are collaborating to identify resources, gaps and opportunities to further equity and inclusion in the sector. 

Australian Grape & Wine’s Diversity and Equality in Wine Committee chair, Ali Laslett, said: “While we are happy to see a shift in the dial with these results, there is still some way to go on many fronts, including the gender pay gap. This research provides us with significant evidence over a 10-year period and we are grateful to Dr Galbreath for conducting this very important research for us again.”

Wine Australia general manager research and innovation, Dr Liz Waters, emphasised the need for sustained support for women in the sector, particularly in senior and leadership positions. “Since the original report was released, significant efforts have been made by many in the sector to promote the achievements of women and raise awareness of the importance of diversity, equality and inclusion in our sector,” Dr Waters said.

The report also offers several recommendations to further improve the representation of women, including pay equality, business ownership, regional women's networks, mentorship and ‘male champions’, data reporting, graduate career pathways and benchmarks to increase women in underrepresented roles.

The full report is available for download at