The Spirit Forward Bacardi Women In Leadership Initiative Debuts Inaugural Empowerment Series

Bacardi Women in Leadership Initiative Logo

Bacardi Women in Leadership Initiative Logo

The Spirit Forward Bacardi Women In Leadership Empowerment Series, kicking off this February, is dedicated to championing the outstanding individuals that make up the spirits trade and hospitality community and elevating them to their highest potential. This empowerment summit will bring together powerful, inspiring speakers to offer enriching personal and professional educational seminars, energizing Q&A panels, networking opportunities, hands-on workshops, plus much more for the spirits trade community across the country.

“Now more than ever, we can all appreciate the power of community and how interdependent we truly are,” says Marlene Gordon, Vice President, General Counsel for Bacardi North America and Global Lead for Bacardi’s Women In Leadership Initiative. “This Series is borne out of Bacardi’s desire to bring women (and men) from all parts of the spirits and hospitality industries together to not only educate, inspire, celebrate and motivate each other, but also to activate and accelerate the development and advancement of all women in our industry. By being true champions of women in the spirits trade and hospitality community, we help to create a more sustainable future for all.”

The Spirit Forward Bacardi Women In Leadership Empowerment Series will cover thought-provoking topics that span sexual harassment, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, to motivating story sessions on breaking stigmas and workshops on financial planning and self-defense. Each of these sessions will be led by prestigious speakers, dynamic industry professionals, as well as peers from members of the hospitality industry, including brand ambassadors from the Bacardi Trade Advocacy team, President of the United States Bartender’s Guild Pamela Wiznitzer, Founder and President of Financial Gym Shannon McLay, Best-Selling Author and Life Coach Trish Barillas, and President of Bacardi North America Pete Carr, to name a few.

Dana Cowin, the former Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine Magazine, current Chief Creative Officer of Chef’s Club International, and longtime advocate for gender equality and women empowerment, has been chosen as the summit’s keynote speaker. A passionate and active champion of women’s rights and fairness, this global issue is something Dana holds dear to her heart and is excited to be supporting alongside Bacardi and the spirits trade and hospitality community.

“The commitment to supporting and empowering women is more important than ever,” says Cowin. “It is imperative that we all, men and women alike, work together to help inspire positive change and work toward equality on all levels. I am enormously excited to be a part of this summit for the hospitality and spirits trade community, a family of outstanding individuals that I am so honored to be a part of and dedicated to.”

A five-city tour around the U.S. starting in Houston on February 12 and culminating in New York City on April 3, the Spirit Forward Bacardi Women In Leadership Empowerment Series will bring the tools, solutions, relationships and know how needed to help inspire and unleash the potential and further advancement of women in the spirits and hospitality industries, directly to each city. The first summit in Houston will be held at the Hotel Zaza Museum, and along with trailblazing national female participants who are on the road for the series, local Texas industry speakers and presenters featured include Jessica SandersAlba Huerta and Bobby Heugel.

Join more than 100 professionals and leaders, as well as partners Speed Rack and PUNCH, on the tour as they come together to celebrate and empower women in the spirits and hospitality industry. Open to all interested individuals, the cost for admission is $40 with a portion of the proceeds donated to Dress for Success, a non-for-profit charity dedicated to helping those less fortunate find success in the workforce and beyond. To buy tickets, review the agenda or learn more, visit

About Bacardi:

Bacardi, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, produces and markets internationally recognized spirits and wines. The Bacardi brand portfolio comprises more than 200 brands and labels, including BACARDÍ®, GREY GOOSE®, DEWAR’S®, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE®, MARTINI®, CAZADORES®, and other leading and emerging brands including WILLIAM LAWSON’S®, ERISTOFF®, and ST-GERMAIN®.

Founded more than 155 years ago, in Santiago de Cuba on February 4, 1862, family-owned Bacardi employs nearly 5,500, operates more than 20 manufacturing sites, and sells its brands in more than 170 countries. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited.

About Bacardi Women in Leadership:

The Bacardi Women in Leadership Initiative was founded with the mission of unleashing the potential of current and future female leaders at Bacardi to drive sustainable top and bottom line business growth. Led globally by Marlene Gordon, General Counsel for Bacardi in North America, the initiative is embedded into the Bacardi business strategy and instills a sense of ownership and accountability in business leaders to set the right example and drive engagement throughout the organization.

Areas of focus include programs to strengthen the talent pipeline including a formal mentoring program and personal/professional development activities; networking opportunities and initiatives to empower employees in a winning work environment; and community partnerships centered on women helping other women in need.

This program positions Bacardi as an employer of choice for talented women and helps establish stronger career paths toward senior leadership.