Our Diversity & Inclusion Goals
Up until now, our values at SommSelect have been centered around the qualities we seek in the wine we sell: authenticity, craftsmanship, and value. We recognize that in order to be a part of building a more racially diverse and socially sustainable wine business, those values alone are not enough. Going forward, SommSelect will actively extend a hand to welcome those previously overlooked and underappreciated by the wine industry. We have reevaluated the founding tenets of our business and resolved to apply the following core commitments to all we do moving forward:
I. The Voices We Amplify: We must take more initiative to actively diversify the perspectives we share on our platform. We commit to changing that in immediate and tangible ways by engaging, featuring, and elevating the voices of BIPOC wine professionals currently working as producers, sommeliers and writers in the industry today. We do not wish to commodify these voices, and will lead with the intent of creating a strong, mutually beneficial working relationship founded on respect and fair pay. Expect to see a more diverse cast of voices contributing to our social media, daily offers, and content going forward.
II. The Wines We Taste: At SommSelect, we hold the wines featured on our site to the highest possible standards. On average, only 5% of the wines we taste end up as Daily Offers. However, this emphasis on discernment and quality does not take into account the systemic inequity that exists across who produces, sells, imports and distributes wine today. As a result, many of the bottles we taste do not accurately reflect the diversity we know currently exists, nor the diversity we want to see in the industry. We pledge to actively seek out and taste wines currently being made by producers of color, as we work to improve diversity in the industry overall. Without changing our rigorous standards of quality, we look forward to representing a more inclusive set of producers in our store and daily offers.
III. The People We Hire: One of the most immediate ways we can begin to dismantle racial inequity in the wine industry is through diversifying our own team. We are committed to building an internal team that encompasses the fullest definition of diversity, equity and inclusion across a spectrum of identities, abilities and points of view. We vow never to tokenize team members for the diversity they bring, but rather to uplift and celebrate their voices as essential perspectives in a healthy wine industry. We are actively recruiting and hiring for a range of positions and welcome great candidates to apply through our website.
IV. The Resources We Share: Today we are announcing The SommSelect Wine Education Fellowship, awarded annually. The intent of the Fellowship is to lower the barriers of entry that prevent so many passionate BIPOC from pursuing a career in wine. The recipient of the Fellowship will receive one-on-one mentorship and career guidance from Master Sommelier Ian Cauble and world-renowned Sommelier DLynn Proctor (Fantesca Estate & Winery); $2,500 toward any wine education program or certification of their choosing; and a year's subscription to the SommSix Educational pack, which showcases examples of major wine regions of the world on a monthly basis. We encourage applications from BIPOC candidates who have recently begun, or aspire to, a career in the wine industry and feel that wine education is central to their professional growth. Preference will be given to applicants who are beginning their wine education journey, demonstrate financial need, and who would benefit from networking opportunities in the Napa Valley. Applicants must live in the United States of America. Help us spread the word and encourage those eligible for the Fellowship to apply. We will be accepting submissions through September 1st by filling out this application. The recipient will be announced on September 15th.
These four steps are the beginning of many–we understand that diversity is not a destination. We commit to accountability and transparency about our progress and keeping our community informed; please follow us on social media, opt in to our emails, and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to give feedback if you feel so inclined. We thank you for your patience and look forward to creating a more equitable company and industry with your continued support.