Gender diversity in Irelands whiskey industry to be celebrated

February 22, 2024

Gender diversity in Ireland’s whiskey industry to be celebrated and encouraged at International Women’s Day event

Women in Irish Whiskey will officially launch as a non-profit organisation and unveil a new website at an Irish Whiskey Association-sponsored event on 8th March in Roe & Co Distillery

The diverse career journeys of women working in Ireland’s flourishing whiskey industry and the variety of opportunities open to women in the sector will be the focus of an event being hosted by Women in Irish Whiskey on International Women’s Day on Friday, 8th March in Roe & Co Distillery in Dublin’s Liberties.

The networking event for women working across all functions of the industry — distillation, production, sales, marketing, logistics and mixology — will feature a keynote panel discussion on the topic of ‘Encouraging Career Development’.

The panel will comprise of influential women from the industry who will share their career experiences and perspectives, offering valuable insights into their roles and the future of the industry.

Women in Irish Whiskey was set up by industry professionals and lifelong friends Heather Clancy and Anne-Marie Kelly, both from Co Kildare, to support women and gender diversity within the Irish whiskey industry through networking opportunities, encouraging career development and driving change in the sector.

Women in Irish Whiskey’s new status as a not-for-profit representative organisation will be celebrated at the event, and its new website — — will also be officially unveiled. Among the features of the website is a membership sign-up section with access to a jobs board to encourage career progression.

Announcing the second Women in Irish Whiskey International Women’s Day networking event, Heather Clancy and Anne-Marie Kelly said: “We can’t wait to welcome the talented women and gender diverse people who we work alongside through the doors of Roe & Co Distillery on 8th March.

“We are thrilled that this year’s event is all about encouraging career development, which is one of our core values. Attendees will get the opportunity to meet and hear from trailblazing women in Irish whiskey, whose career stories will resonate with them, make them laugh, roll their eyes and be inspired to take the next step on their career journeys.

“We’ll have a professional photographer on site offering everyone there the chance to have a new, glossy complimentary headshot taken that will be perfect for their LinkedIn profile. We’ll also be encouraging people to sign up to the membership section of the new Women In Irish Whiskey website for career tips, news about future networking events and job opportunities.”

Also commenting, director of the Irish Whiskey Association, which is a sponsor of the Women in Irish Whiskey networking event, Eoin Ó Catháin said: “Irish whiskey was once a male-dominated industry, however as our premium product is enjoyed by a broader and more diverse consumer base, the talent across all levels of our industry has too diversified.

“The Irish Whiskey Association’s Sustainability Roadmap published in 2022 indicates that the gender split across the industry is now 63% male, 37% female. Our ambition is for increased gender parity in the years to come – to better reflect those who enjoy Irish whiskey today.

“We are very proud to support Women in Irish Whiskey, whose values we share in seeking to build on the positive growth in the industry. By encouraging inclusion, we can foster creativity, drive business success and build on our already vibrant and dynamic industry.”

For more information about Women in Irish Whiskey, including about its International Women’s Day 2024 event on 8th March, visit


Contact: Maisie Lynch / Sara Byrne, Alice Public Relations, Tel: 086-8966298 /086-3956396 / 01-5582151, Email:

Notes to Editors:


High-res images taken at the inaugural Women in Irish Whiskey Networking Event held on International Women’s Day 2023 are available to download here.

Caption Information:

Following the success of its inaugural International Women’s Day networking event last year (pictured), Women in Irish Whiskey will hold the networking event for a consecutive year an 8th March in Roe & Co Distillery in Dublin’s Liberties.


  • Heather Clancy and Anne-Marie Kelly, founders of Women in Irish Whiskey, are available for media interview via Alice Public Relations.
  • Eoin Ó Catháin, Director of the Irish Whiskey Association, is available for media interview via Alice Public Relations.

About Heather Clancy & Anne-Marie Kelly, founders of Women in Irish Whiskey

Heather Clancy and Anne-Marie Kelly are lifelong friends from Naas, Co Kildare, who attended school together and later gained international experience by representing the Irish food and drink industry overseas through early-career stints with Bord Bia. Upon entering the whiskey industry, they identified a notable absence of women's representation and networking opportunities. To address this disparity, they established Women in Irish Whiskey, an endeavour dedicated to cultivating a supportive community for women in the sector through workshops, seminars and events. Today, Heather is a brand manager at Grace O'Malley Sprits, while Anne-Marie is the Berlin-based business development manager for Dundalk-based O’Malley Ireland Spirits Trading Ltd / Good Spirits Bottling.

About Women in Irish Whiskey

The purpose of Women of Irish Whiskey is to advocate for, empower, and offer unwavering support to women and gender diverse individuals within the Irish whiskey industry. Through strategic collaborations with associations, organisations and industry partners, our mission is to foster professional development of women across all areas of the industry including distillation, supply chain management, administration, marketing, sales and more. Our goal is to facilitate events driven by female thought leadership, networking opportunities, mentorship programmes, and personal development endeavours.

Women working in male-dominated industries may face a variety of challenges, including:

  • Equal pay for same roles performed.
  • Reduced access to peer mentoring.
  • Limited access to women serving as role models in top executive roles for the purpose of inspiration.
  • Feelings of seclusion and exclusion.
  • Gender bias.

For more information, visit

About the Irish Whiskey Association

The Irish Whiskey Association is the representative voice within Drinks Ireland working to promote, protect and represent the Irish Whiskey category globally.

For more information, visit:

Follow the Irish Whiskey Association on Twitter @IrishWhiskeyAsc.