Weekly Now: Brewers Group Launches Efforts to Combat Sexual Harassment

The Brewers Association says it will back a long-term initiative to improve inclusion and create safe working environments among its members. Also: Looking at the research around associations’ pandemic responses at a higher level.

Recent controversies in the craft brewing space are leading to some serious work on the challenges the sector is facing with inequality and sexual harassment.

And the Brewers Association (BA) is ready to put in that work, announcing in “A Community Call to Action” that it would take steps to lead “a long-term, industrywide effort” to make the brewing space safe and inclusive.

“We at the Brewers Association want to make it clear that we condemn any act of assault, harassment, violence, bigotry, discrimination, or inequity,” the association states.

As BrewBound notes, the call came about in response to a pair of formal complaints about member behavior that violates BA’s code of conduct. Additionally, there has been a strong response to the issue after Brienne Allan, of the Salem, Massachusetts-based Notch Brewing, posted stories to her Instagram account of women who faced discriminatory experiences in the industry.

“What began with accounts of snide remarks and rude questions snowballed into stories of toxic work environments and sexual harassment and sexual abuse,” the news outlet reports.

For its part, BA said it would form a coalition with other beer industry groups to help build safer, more inclusive workplaces and would team with human resources experts to develop tools for members. Other groups expected to join the coalition include the American Society of Brewing Chemists, the Craft Beer HR Professionals Group, the Master Brewers Association of the Americas, and the Pink Boots Society.

This latest initiative comes less than a year after BA updated its governance documents to create a code of conduct, which was spurred by concerns over racist incidents within its member base.

Other recent headlines:

Wedding groups form a strategic partnership. The National Gay Wedding Association (NGWA) will work with the National Society of Black Wedding and Event Professionals (NSBWEP) to help improve opportunities for education and support for Black wedding planners. “Partnering with the National Society of Black Wedding and Event Professionals is instrumental in bridging the divide that currently exists in the wedding planning industry,” says Ric Simmons, the founding director of NGWA, in a news release. NSBWEP President and CEO Tara Melvin adds that the partnership will “amplify our message of inclusivity to our diverse and talented membership base.”

The power of events in fundraising. A new report from the online donation platform Classy [registration] finds that tying the tactics of peer-to-peer fundraising to standard fundraising events can have a major impact on the amount that campaigns raise, with events backed by peer-to-peer efforts raising a median amount 4.5 times greater than standard events on their own. “As organizations pivoted their event strategies in 2020 to incorporate online and virtual engagement opportunities, the ability to fundraise proved a meaningful way for supporters to not only feel a sense of participation and involvement, but also make a significant financial impact in challenging times,” the report states.

Pandemic Lessons, in Aggregate

The research around associations during the pandemic doesn’t deliver a ton of good news—but it does highlight some important food for thought.

A recent blog post from WBT Systems, which rounds up the latest research on the post-pandemic outlook for associations, makes clear that while the news isn’t all good—revenue declines, budget cuts, and hiring freezes were common—there were some positive notes, especially for associations with innovative mindsets, which found room to adapt quickly amid the dynamic changes of the pandemic.

Citing insights from Mary Byers, CSP, CAE, among others, the report suggests that organizations that aren’t being innovative enough might need to take a step back and focus on agility and culture.

“To be successful over the next five years, association executives said the most necessary aspects of innovation are prioritization followed by building and cultivating a culture of innovation,” the post states. “Byers says these facets of innovation require focus, time, and attention, not necessarily large budgets.”


Things are becoming more asynchronous—that is, not happening in a live environment—and that might shift the way your organization approaches events.

If your organization wants to reach mobile users without managing a mobile app, consider a progressive web app instead.

Your leadership role might be facing “invisible” changes that shift dynamics without matching changes to the org chart. There are important lessons and considerations to take from that evolution.


(Anton Vierietin/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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