Because actions speak louder than words
Sonoma, Calif. (October 2020)—Bâtonnage, a forum aimed at opening up conversation about women in wine, has launched a new mentorship program designed to transform conversations about equality into actions that create equity.
The Bâtonnage Mentorship Program seeks to create a pragmatic, positive, inclusive course forward wherein individuals who have traditionally been overlooked or spoken over achieve equal opportunities, equal representation, and especially equal leadership positions within all sectors and tiers of our industry.
Since its inception in 2018, Bâtonnage Forum has operated primarily as an annual conference; however, the idea of developing a year-round mentorship program to complement the event was always a consideration for founders Stevie Stacionis and Sarah Bray. Following this year’s first-ever virtual edition of the event, produced by new stewards Rebecca Johnson and Katie Canfield of O’Donnell Lane, the intention came to fruition.
The Bâtonnage Mentorship Program will offer three progressing levels of mentorship in five industry areas of focus (IAF): Cellar/Production, Viticulture, Sales and Marketing, Retail and Hospitality. More information about each IAF and their Core Committee program lead can be found here.
Level 1 focuses on networking, communication, and welcoming candidates interested in pursuing a career in the wine industry, with the objective to create an inclusive, inviting space for candidates to ask questions and learn from experiences of participating mentors. Applications are open now until Nov.1 for the 2021 program; commitment terms and requirements are available online.
Levels 2 and 3 are progressively more focused and involved, to help guide mentees into their specific IAF of interest. Both programs are slated to premier in 2021; more information is available here.
Program direction will come from the Core Committee: Bâtonnage founders Stevie Stacionis and Sarah Bray, Priyanka French, winemaker at Signorello Estate, Tonya Pitts, industry changemaker and founder of Women in Wine, and Mary Maher, vineyard manager at Harlan Estate and Promontory. Their efforts will be supported by the O’Donnell Lane team and in partnership with Napa Valley Vintners, who have generously donated the financial resources needed to promote the growth of this program and serve as a resource to provide scholarships for Level 3 mentees.
About Bâtonnage Forum
Founded in 2018 by Stevie Stacionis and Sarah Bray and now produced by O’Donnell Lane, LLC, Bâtonnage is the brainchild of all those who identify as women working in all the different facets of the wine industry. The forum serves as a platform to educate wine professionals as well as wine industry supporters on the unique challenges and opportunities that women in the field—winemakers, vineyard workers, writers and marketers, salespeople, sommeliers, collectors, and drinkers—have faced both historically and present-day. Bâtonnage extends well beyond the one-day forum to a community who strives to investigate and implement pragmatic solutions for charting a positive, inclusive course forward. For more information and to join the conversation, visit batonnageforum.com.