Sold in 180 countries around the world, 36 bottles of Scotch Whisky are shipped overseas every second, with exports valued at an incredible £3.8 billion.
Single Malt Scotch Whisky proudly represents a diverse industry, with female voices shaping the culture. To celebrate International Whisky Day on 27 March, we spoke to some of the women leading the way, to find out what inspired them to join the world of whisky and how they see the industry changing for the future.
Patricia Dillon, Speyside Distillery
What brought you to the world of whisky?
My father was an avid whisky drinker and taught me all about the types of whiskies and regions. These became passions of mine, and it was a natural path I ended up taking later in my senior professional life.
What is the most exciting project you've worked on?
There have been too many to single one out, however if I had to choose, I would say our current new distillery project.
Why do you think Scotch Whisky has such an incredible international appeal?
Scotch whisky is a quality, crafted Scottish spirit, over 500 years old; consumers like to explore and discover this history along with the craft. When we host guests at our artisan Speyside Distillery, or greet them at festivals and events, they are intrigued by the wide range of tastes, aromas and cask finishes, and want to find out more about the craft, regions and Scotch as an industry.
How do you think more women could be encouraged to become involved in the whisky industry?
The Scotch Whisky industry launched a Diversity and Inclusivity Charter to create a welcoming workforce for people from all backgrounds. Developed by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and its members, it shows the industry's commitment to improving equal opportunity across the sector. As a leader of a Scotch Whisky Distillery Company and a representative on the SWA Council, I ensure that I play my part in promoting diversity and inclusivity, to encourage women and all people into our industry.