Celebrating Women at the IBD, an equal, diverse and inclusive organisation

We are dedicating March this year to celebrate the role of women at the IBD and by extension, in the drinks industry.

And the best way to do it, it’s by introducing some of our talented female colleagues in the IBD team whose stellar work makes the IBD.

Suzanna Drew, Training Specialist at the Education & Professional Team; Alice Kim, Digital Marketing Executive; and Chloe Falodun, Examination Officer, explain briefly their roles at the IBD and their impact on the industry.

Suzanna Drew - Training Specialist

Tell us a bit about yourself.  Since when are you part of the IBD team?

After graduating in biology, I did a PhD in molecular Neuroscience at the Gurdon Institute at Cambridge University, however, realising I was never going to understand the mammalian brain I opted to do a postdoc working with my favourite organism, brewers’ yeast, and spent six years studying plasmid DNA stability in the Institute of Biotechnology. 

At that point, my children were 6 and 8 and I wanted them to learn another language, I was offered a Marie Curie Fellowship at the Mediterranean Institute in Crete, Greece and I have been in Crete ever since.  After the fellowship ended, I taught biology and nutrition online for the University of Maryland Global Campus.  Five and a half years ago, by chance, I went on a brewery tour, and it was mentioned that they needed a lab.  I sent them my CV and since then I have been building a brewery lab and a quality assurance program. 

I joined the first cohort of TGL gaining a JJ Morison scholarship which introduced me to the IBD and their educational program. 

I joined the IBD last August as a training specialist, I work remotely and live in Crete, Greece.

Joining the IBD has meant I can combine my experience in education with brewing.

What are your main responsibilities and how do you balance them with your job at Cretan Brewery?

My role is to help facilitate the educational programs of Tutor guided Learning (TGL) which supports the IBD diploma learning material and Set for Success (S4S) which supports the IBD general certificate learning material. 

I share my time at the IBD with my role as quality manager at the Cretan Brewery in Crete, Greece.  The balance is tough because both jobs are demanding and in reality, both jobs require more than 50% of my time.  But I’m where I want to be combining my backgrounds in brewing and education.

How would you describe in three words how you feel being part of the IBD?

Incredible career opportunity

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity. What does this mean to you? 

I’ve spent my life doing jobs that support my role as a mother. I have chosen jobs that gave me time and lifestyle experiences with my children rather than following a conventional career path. As a middle-aged woman, it hasn’t been easy to find satisfying and fulfilling jobs, I find age equality as important as gender equality. 

I am very grateful to the people who gave me a second chance (IBD and Cretan Brewery).  Career-wise, I am not a high-flying woman, but I have bought up two amazing girls who are…

How do you think the IBD is deploying equity within the organisation and how do you think the drinks industry is doing it?

My experience in the drinks industry is limited having been in brewing just five years. For me, the IBD has deployed gender equality and has also given me a chance to work remotely. In Greece beer production is still male-dominated, however, there are women who are breaking this mould.

Alice Kim - Digital Marketing Executive

What is your role at the IBD and since when are you part of the team?

My role is digital marketing executive, and I started working at the IBD in July 2022. I work with my manager, Ana Bonilla, in a two-woman team - we may be a small team, but together we are a powerhouse!

Alice Kim

What are your main responsibilities?

Most of my time is spent on promoting events. The IBD sections host many interesting events, such as brewery tours, brew days, career development talks, study trips abroad, and many more! Once I’ve created a landing page for an event on the IBD website, the event is promoted on our social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and via email campaigns.

I recommend to those who are interested in attending brewing and distilling events to follow our social media pages and sign up for the IBD newsletter to find out first-hand about the events!

Most recently, I have been busy working with the APAC team and supporting them with marketing and communications for the 37th Asia Pacific IBD Convention in Adelaide. It is exciting as it is the first IBD in-person convention since the pandemic. The IBD also hosts the Worldwide Distilled Spirits Conference (WDSC), taking place in May this year in Edinburgh.

Other responsibilities include communications with the IBD sections, design work, and promoting exam support courses such as TGL and SFS and other short courses.

How would you describe in three words how you feel being part of the IBD?

Encouraged. Supported. Confident.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity. What does this mean to you?

Equity is about fairness and justice. Embracing equity, to me, means striving to give all women and girls what they need in order to have equal access to opportunities. We all have our unique strengths, and when we work together, that is when we shine the most.

How do you think the IBD is deploying equity within the organisation and the drinks industry overall?

I think it’s evident by looking at the team that we do not discriminate on any grounds, including gender at the IBD. We have many women working in leadership positions, the president and deputy president included! And at the WDSC hosted by the IBD, we have appointed our first female Chair, Jayne Millar, which is an achievement to be celebrated by the drinks community.

In what is traditionally a male-dominated industry, it is important that women are represented and given an opportunity, which is what the IBD strives to do.

Chloe Falodun - Examination Officer

Tell us a bit about yourself. Since when are you part of the IBD team?

Chloe FalodunI studied Cognitive Science and Psychology at the University of Westminster, which was an amalgamation of neuroscience, artificial intelligence, philosophy and psychology, to understand the human brain in its anatomy as well the mind and behaviour.

I went on to work in rehabilitation and later professional examinations, which I have been involved in over the last 7/8 years.

I was last at the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists in their exam department and spearheaded the change to online examinations after Covid-19.

I started with the IBD in January 2022 as an examination officer.

What are your main responsibilities?

I look after the candidate's journey. My role at the IBD as Examination Officer is to facilitate all aspects of the candidate journey for the Foundation, General Certificate, Diploma and Masters exams from registration through to the release of results, for which we cater to over 3000 candidates per year.

This includes amongst other things, working on our communication to candidates and key stakeholders, updating them with the process of taking their exam, particularly with our change to online examinations with the TestReach system, and liaising with candidates and TestReach to ensure that we are able to provide any necessary and reasonable adjustments to those who require this for their exam.

I believe that the change to online examinations has been successful as a whole, and am excited to keep improving on how we manage this to provide candidates with even better experiences.

How would you describe in three words how you feel being part of the IBD?

Challenged, valued and relevant

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity. What does this mean to you?

Embrace equity to me means creating an inclusive world and being open to change, and seeking productive ways to achieve this.

How do you think the IBD is deploying equity within the organisation and the drinks industry overall?

In a traditionally male-dominated industry, it is great and encouraging to see more women within the IBD and in leadership roles.

IBD at the The International Brewing & Cider Awards 2024

07 May 2024

Thirteen brewers and cidermakers from four different continents across the globe have been awarded the highest recognition for their outstanding beers and ciders at the world’s most historic international beer and cider competition – The International Brewing & Cider Awards.