02 Jun

Woman in Brewing & Manufacturing – Sarah Laing

Woman in Brewing & Manufacturing – Sarah Laing

From the blokey advertising to its perception as a reward for a day of hard physical labour, drinking beer has traditionally been seen as something only men can enjoy.

But at CUB we believe beer can, and should, be enjoyed and brewed by men and women.

Sarah Laing is living proof of this. Sarah has worked in brewing for almost a decade, leading substantial projects within CUB that are helping to shape the Australian beer industry.

Across her career, Sarah has worked in almost every part of our breweries – from packaging to quality to the brewing of the beer itself. No matter what the role, Sarah loves working in the industry.

She said: “It’s just really good fun. You turn up to work, and every day is different. You’re out there seeing the action in real time. Things happen, there’s pressure, sometimes there’s mess, and there’s really interesting and difficult problems to solve.”

“I love beer. I was a home brewer in my university days and always had a real interest in beer making and tasting different styles… it definitely wasn’t hard to be attracted to CUB.”

This passion for beer and the industry is something Sarah wants to share. She is a firm believer in promoting a career in brewing, regardless of gender. She said: “I think it is important for young women to grow up seeing their mum doing cool stuff, like manufacturing and brewing! I want to encourage women and girls that you can do it. You absolutely can do it, and you should. You’ll never find a more rewarding career.”

As part of CUB’s commitment to diversity, Sarah was invited to attend a summit on Women in Manufacturing Leadership. This allowed Sarah to learn from leadership specialists, senior manufacturing leaders and network with like-minded women in her field. She shared the key advice for women who might be struggling to transition to a leadership role: “the key learning was that leadership involves a set of skills that you can learn, and like any skill takes practice. I heard that many people in the room had questioned their abilities at times, even though they’re successful. Believe in yourself and have the confidence to give it a go.”

While these summits are important and offer great opportunities for women to continue to develop and network, Sarah believes more is required for women to be truly equal in the workplace. “We need to support more than just our women in diversity – we also need to support their partners. By implementing flexible working policies, a company can allow both men and women to contribute to home duties – duties which traditionally have fallen to the women, hampering her career.”

For Sarah, a career at CUB has offered diverse work across an industry that she loves. It is an experience she wants others to enjoy and to this end wants to ensure everyone has the same opportunities to work to discover a career in manufacturing.

While Sarah firmly believes a career in brewing can be beneficial and exciting for all women, she also raised another reason why women should consider a career in beer. She joked that “there’s a fair amount of research that shows women are slightly better tasters than men, just as younger people are better than old. So young women have the aptitude to be the best beer tasters!”

“As part of my job, I am often doing beer tastings down at the brewery… when I’m in the cab and they ask what I’m up to, and I tell them I am going to a tasting session – they can’t believe it’s a real job. It helps to remind me what an awesome career I have.”

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