Our commitments to fostering gender equality
“Maison Gabriel Meffre moves with the times: women are given the same opportunities as men.” These are the words and sentiments of Christine Lacroix, Sales Administration Director. While the latest nationwide polls highlight ongoing discrimination against women in the same positions and with equivalent skills as men, our winery strives to promote an egalitarian approach in its workforce. For Virginie Pipunic, Team Manager, “Gabriel Meffre is a forward-looking company that treats men and women equally”.
Women are in the majority at Gabriel Meffre: there are 60 female employees out of a staff of 100! Marie-Caroline Gérard, Accounting and Finance Manager, confirms the statistic and commends the strength of diversity at every level: “Women have a strong presence in the company and this is true at every level and in almost every department, with the exception of the cellar, maintenance and the vines. The diversity in all respects (age, gender, professional experience, nationality) makes the company more efficient and more creative.”
The overview of the distribution of socio-professional categories is the following:
- workers – employees: 58% women
- supervisors: 61% women
- managers: 37% women
- senior managers: 27% women
There are still improvements to make in the managers and senior managers categories, but we are on the right track!
We are making efforts to eradicate the last traces of inequality entrenched for centuries in our general mindset. For instance, in the social and societal pillar of our CSR approach, we are following an action plan launched in 2017 which includes these actions:
- Apply a policy of diversity in our recruitment practices
- On an annual basis, inform employees, and women in particular, on the need to take continuous training through the duration of their career
- Promote women to occupy management and senior management positions
Women in high responsibility positions
In the viticulture sector, Christine believes there are tough challenges to address: “Mentalities take a long time to evolve, a woman is still very often relegated to the rank of secretary.” Our company wants to lead the charge in the opposite direction. “Gabriel Meffre offers career opportunities to lots of women, the company places many of us in positions with high levels of responsibility,” explains Virginie, who manages one of the winery’s two production lines.
In the last two years, three women have been appointed to upper management roles, including Christine who has serious seniority in the team: “I’ve known three CEO at the winery, I’ve never been made to feel different for being a woman. The only thing that has counted in my job are the skills I possess.”
These heartening comments are the best reward for the efforts made in this area. The winery is constantly making progress towards a more equitable consideration of both sexes. As Virginie says, “Going back a few years, when a woman was appointed to a key position in the company, it was a token gesture designed to look good to the outside. Mentalities have changed and it's now something normal. and that can only be a good thing. Skills in management, technical areas and decision-making are not only the purview of men. The winery has taken this on board.”
Marie-Caroline concludes by saying: “To my mind, women have the same degree of confidence from senior management as men and an excellent level of autonomy that means we can fully execute our duties and responsibilities.”
Back in the days of the winery’s inception, Juliette Meffre - Gabriel’s wife - was expected to work in the background according to the norms of the time, despite her important role in the company’s success. Today, in respect of every woman who holds any position at any level, our goal is to never let gender be an issue. After all, what matters first and foremost is the passion we all share for wine!