Teneral Cellars was born out of the need for a more equitable and inclusive company in the wine industry, and one that wasn’t afraid to take a position on social issues. As I created Teneral Cellars, and thinking about diversity and inclusion, I saw a beautiful colorful rainbow. Diversity is colorful! What if everyone who surrounded you was exactly like you, in every way? Where is the fun in that? We need new ideas, views, and practices to stimulate and inspire us, to show us the way others celebrate, eat and love! I wanted Teneral Cellars to have a diversity of experiences and voices so we would reflect all of our customers we serve, and as we work to disrupt the status quo, we could create a culture and a movement that celebrates these differences and works to make the world a better place. Cultural diversity helps us recognize and respect “ways of being” that are not necessarily our own. As we interact with others, we can build bridges to trust, respect, and understanding across cultures.
I also realized that diversity needs to include physical disabilities, age diversity and other forms of diversity. Having spent 15 years at Special Olympics and watching my three young children grow up engaging and experiencing athletes with developmental disabilities, I watched them grow into more understanding, respectful, empathetic human beings. They learned to see ability, the person, and not the disability. Without exposure and interaction, they wouldn’t have had the unforgettable amazing experiences over the years with the athletes and had their lives touched in such meaningful ways.
While I feel it’s a moral imperative to build a diverse team, there is also data, as McKinsey & Co and a host of other highly credible researchers have shown, diversity makes your organization more effective, more successful, more profitable. A diverse team with varying perspectives and viewpoints is able to reach solutions quicker and come up with more unique ideas than a team that shares similar backgrounds. If you experience diversity in your everyday life, you will have regular exposure to people, cultures, traditions, and practices that are unlike your own. Not only will you enhance your social development, but you will also increase your true understanding of the world.
Our country is hurting right now, and systemic racism, anti-Semitism, AAPI hate, homophobia and extremism is at an all time high. As a company, we believe our words and actions matter, and that we can be a part of the solution, even if that means we are only a small part of the solution.
With every quarterly SWARM release, we are very conscious about bringing a diversity of voices and experiences to our audience. This includes the themes and charities we select each quarter, the artists creating the wine labels, to the Chef who is pairing recipes with our wines and hosting a virtual cooking class, to the musical talent we secure. This also extends to the Chill with Jill conversations, content we create and other conversations we are having. We are always open and receptive to our customers sharing their diverse perspectives on how we can be better. Being a woman owned and run company, we lead with our hearts, passion and purpose and know we need to create the space to have healthy conversations about diversity and inclusion. As we talk about diversity the rest of the month, please share your perspective with us. Send us a blog post we can share or leave your comments below. Join our SWARM movement. You’re going to love it here.