Scotland Coffee Lovers
We see a lot more men than women in speciality coffee - in Scotland and further afield.
Over the past 6 months I have been working with Pru Whitwell, friend, local blogger and owner of the free Scotland Coffee Lovers App to help share the stories and experiences of eleven women in the specialty coffee industry.
Pru says; “The bearded, tattooed hipster propels male dominance toward a monocultural stereotype that may exclude some men, but definitely appears to exclude women.
… We’re now seeing more female speciality coffee baristas than we used to. This trend is still young and other male-dominated industries have struggled with women joining and leaving in equal numbers.”
After speaking with the women who are driving and leading their speciality coffee careers in Scotland, we’re now feeling very optimistic.
“… if I can be even a grain of sand, the tiniest bit, if I can inspire someone in a way, that would be amazing. To show to other women that they shouldn’t be afraid to try and be more ... if they’re interested in something they should pursue it”
“A lot of the women in coffee in Scotland know each other and this community aspect is great. It’s also infuriating because there are so few of us. There are lots of cultural barriers for women who aren’t very confident. There’s quite a ‘bro culture’ in lots of places, especially in places that don’t have many women on staff. I think mostly the men don’t realise, but sometimes you know they do.”
“I covered a story on a Bolivian coffee buyer...went to the US on a trip…saw lots of coffee roasteries…got excited about setting up a roasting business, at an artisan level, in a remote glen in Scotland.”
“I’ve long been accused of being emotional or reactive by men, when in fact I just have an honest and straight forward approach. It seems that this is an admirable quality in men but not so much in women.”
“Because I’m relatively new to coffee…the slightest set-backs can have a big impact on confidence… The support women provide each other is from a place of genuine compassion and understanding.”
“I’ve been lucky to have my mum as a role model. On International Women’s Day I actually called to thank her for being such a powerhouse and for making me understand how important it is to treat everyone equally.”
“Don’t assume that where you are now is the same everywhere. Learn different things from different people. Change jobs, change towns, change roles, try new things.”
“The tough businessman persona is seen as more acceptable in men than women, ‘that you can treat people badly because hey, it’s just business’. Women are expected to be tough but more readily criticised if they stand up for themselves.”
“Because so many strong women have always surrounded me, I don’t think ‘women can’t do things’. And I feel like their voices are so much stronger and louder than anyone who might be saying ‘women can’t do things”