Home' Bars and Clubs : BAC MarApl 2016 Contents women in this industry, there are so few things to
support what we're working towards."
Getting to a place where she was comfortably
settled in her own career, Aubort says that she
decided to set aside some time to work on a passion
project, outside of work.
"I had attended something called All About
Women at the Opera House, and it was amazing,
I have never walked away from something feeling
so inspired. And ultimately I wanted to create
something that 20-year-old Paige would want to
attend -- so the idea came from that, to create a
really safe environment. I've always like the idea of
education and I've always been a fan of not-for-
profit -- I didn't want to make money from this."
WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?
The mentoring program Aubort has developed
is working toward a number of goals including
connecting senior and junior members in mentoring
relationships; educating its members in all things
bartending -- including the role of women in the
industry; discussing procedures, methods, projects
and policies for female bartenders; and inspiring
women to take their bartending careers to the
highest possible level.
Aubort is a strong believer in the fact that
women in any industry need support to face
potential backlash from standing up and making
their voices heard with regard to issues that affect
"It's really important because in society in
general women can often be shamed for either
having quite strong voices or opinionated voices.
"Especially when they're calling out instances
that could potentially leave some scars or leave
some marks -- people being like "Oh I wouldn't hire
her, she's got an opinion about 'this'". Or "I don't
want to hire her because she might cause a fuss
later", or "I don't want to hire her because she can't
take a 'joke'", you know.
"I think it's sad because in these instances where
women speak out and say "hey that guy was a
fucking asshole" or "that guy was sexist", or "this
stuff happened to me so I wasn't hired here".
"This stuff happens so often that women have to
stop and think about whether or not they're willing
to put out that opinion because in the end it isn't
the person that did wrong by them, it's the person
complaining that gets blamed."
Unsurprisingly, the organisation, and its events have
garnered support from women across the board.
"It's not easy to
make contact with
other women. It's
a lot easier for
men when they're
surrounded by other
men in their bars, so
they can just look to
their le and their
right and they have
"Ultimately I wanted to create something that
20-year-old Paige would want to attend -- so the idea
came from that, to create a really safe environment."
"The reaction as a whole has been incredibly
positive -- there hasn't been anything bad. From
beginner bartenders to career bartenders to the
women who are older and now own their own
bars, they're grateful and they're so appreciative.
I think that is because the women in this industry
are supportive, and loving, and kind, and it's not
just for the fact I was doing a project on my own,
let alone that it was to benefit other people, they
were always going to be supportive," says Aubort.
Aubort has been footing the bill for the
sessions, and with costs running into the
thousands it isn't easy. Add the reality that
a lot of brand teams have very few female
staff members themselves, and there is a
"I was going to these really big companies
and saying "hey, I want you to use Coleman's as
your platform -- I just need you to show up with
a woman from your company, ideally a brand
ambassador, and they need present one product
in your portfolio". And the number of people
who were like "We don't have someone like that".
They don't have a female staff member or a single
female in the state that can come and speak
about a product. It's so fucking shit."
While Coleman's Academy is still very much in its
infancy, Aubort has big plans for the organisation,
saying that she would love to take the concept
internationally, though that may be difficult as she
has chosen not to monetise the business model.
"It would be amazing to, say, take three of the
best Australian female bartenders and take them
over to New York or London and do sessions.
That would be awesome. When I look at it, I think
I could have made money off this, but it's just not
my priority. So the progression is going to be a
lot slower than if it was my sole business."
Aubort is also a realist, noting that there is only
so much that can be done if women aren't willing
to do the hard yards to get into the industry -- it
may be an amazing one to work in, but it is also a
"I think the industry is as welcoming as you
want it to be. And if women aren't applying for
the jobs and aren't willing to do the extra shifts
and the physical labour then that's an issue," she
says. "It's not an easy job, but would I like the
industry to progress so I can see more of an equal
bar representation? Yes. b&c
PAIGE AUBORT BEHIND THE BAR
AT THE LOBO PLANTATION.
WOMEN TO THE FRONT
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