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In Coffee, ‘The More You See Women, the More Women You’ll See’

Screenshot Joselinda Manueles COMSA

Screenshot showing Joselinda Manueles of COMSA with Equal Exchange green buyer Carly Kadlec

The quote in the headline above is an excerpt from comments made by Equal Exchange Lead Roaster Sarah Hrisak, a woman who, gender-wise, represents a clear minority in her field of work.

“I think like any industry, the more you see women, the more women you’ll see,” Hrisak said in a 12-minute video released by the Massachusetts-based coffee roasting company last week called “Women in Coffee: A Short Documentary.” Incidentally, the progressive roasting company celebrated its 30th anniversary May 1, operating as one of the largest democratic worker-owned cooperatives in the country.

Of course, only so much can be communicated in the span of 12 minutes, and the issue of gender in coffee is a hugely important one. Numerous groups in and around the coffee sector and industry — the International Women’s Coffee Alliance and the Coffee Quality Institute not least among them — have endeavored to explore it, aiming for such greater goods as financial equity, community health and positive social change, at large.

In its 12 minutes, Equal Exchange ties together the stories of several of its woman leaders throughout the company’s supply chain, from seed to cup — from the story of Maria Dolores Zelaya from the COMSA cooperative in Honduras, who insisted her husband of 20 years transfer a section of their farmland into her name so she could take sole ownership, to those of EE green buyer Carly Kadlec, quality manager Beth Ann Caspersen, roaster Hrisak and cafe assistant manager Nakita Turner.

See the full video here:


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