Today is International Women’s Day, with the 2021 theme #ChooseToChallenge.
As the leading woman in the Hayman’s Team, we caught up with Miranda Hayman to discuss working for a family business, the changing landscape of the industry, and how we can all choose to challenge.
What challenges have you faced throughout your career due to being a woman and how have you surmounted them?
The industry has changed enormously in terms of the male/female ratio since I joined over 20 years ago and I certainly have far more confidence today than I did when I first joined.
I am fortunate that working alongside my father and brother, I have always been treated as an equal. Of course, this support and the experience I have gained over the years has given me more confidence.
Did you ever consider not working for your family business?
I always knew I wanted to work in the family business, but knew I wanted to get some experience elsewhere before I joined.
What is one assumption or generalisation about your industry that you would like to challenge?
I think it is sometimes assumed that just about anyone can make gin or a spirit and that the process fairly straightforward. However, the skill, creativity in making a balanced yet complex gin or dark spirit cannot be underestimated. But the amount of hard work and long hours does include some fun along the way.
What advice would you give to women striving to make a mark in a male-dominated industry?
I would advise anyone to gain as much experience as possible in a range of roles as that has really given me a voice within our business. Secondly, do take the time to listen to the opinion of others and to then digest and reflect before any knee jerk response.
What are your thoughts on the idea and pressure to ‘have it all’?
Honestly, I am not sure you can have it all – it is a constant juggling act balancing career and personal life and one of the biggest challenges is knowing when to turn from one to the other.
You just have to accept that – it is definitely easier if you have a career you enjoy. You do need a support network whether that is your partner, family or friends and definitely some flexibility at times.
I think Covid has added the greatest challenge to this juggling act and I hope that it becomes easier once some sort of normality resumes.
What would you tell your younger self?
Have more confidence in your opinion but take the time to listen to others and learn from them as well as understanding why they might think differently from you.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the craft and heritage of Hayman’s Gin – they are reason behind everything we do.