Wine Enthusiast Editor-in-Chief and Publisher Adam Strum addressed the 700-plus attendees at this year\u2019s Women of the Vine & Spirits Global Symposium in Napa, visibly overcome with emotion while talking of his mother\u2019s thwarted ambitions to work in the wine industry many years ago\u2014when it was nearly unheard of for women to be employed in the wine industry\u2014while the captivated audience listened on.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHeartfelt emotion met hard data during the three-day event, now in its third year. Deborah Brenner, author of the book Women of the Vine: Inside the World of Women Who Make, Taste and Enjoy Wine, is the founder of the Women of the Vine & Spirits organization, of which Wine Enthusiast is proud to be a partner.\r\n\r\nThe symposium brought together women and men from around the globe representing all aspects of the wine industry, from sales, marketing and distribution, to production and publishing.\r\n\r\nThe event kicked off Monday, March 13 with a look back at the creation of the National Women\u2019s History Project, founded in nearby Sonoma in 1980. The project prompted the foundation of Women\u2019s History Month, recognized each year in March.\r\n\r\nReturning speaker Maggie Henriquez, president and CEO of Krug Champagne, detailed her decades of leadership in many industries, urging the audience to never lose sight of their values no matter their position.\r\n\r\nDay two included a speech entitled \u201cWhy Women? The Leadership Imperative to Advancing Women and Driving Male Engagement,\u201d by Jeffery Tobias Halter of YWomen, who expounded upon his years consulting corporations on gender relations. He won over the crowd by arriving on stage in a pair of shiny red pumps, underlining the differences in comfort that often exist between male and female fashion in the corporate world. Halter\u2019s encouragement was for women to not only lean in, but for men to stand up as advocates well.\r\n\r\nHe was followed by Brandy Rand, president, U.S., of the International Wine and Spirits Research, who delved into a wealth of data on global trends in wine and spirits. She focused on female purchasing power and factors driving consumption in such categories as sparkling wine, ros\u00e9, craft beer and Irish whiskey.\r\n\r\nOther highlights included the story of Susana Balbo, founder and owner of Susana Balbo Wines in Argentina. She detailed her tumultuous life as a woman in wine, and touched on her current position as a congresswoman for Mendoza.\r\n\r\nJeff Fromm, president of marketing consulting firm FutureCast, delved into the motivations of millennial women, with the pursuit of adventure being cited as a driving factor.\r\n\r\nWine Enthusiast Executive Editor Susan Kostrzewa moderated a panel on \u201cSpirited Women, Taking the Lead,\u201d bringing together Annette Alvarez-Peters, wine buyer for Costco Wholesale; Sara Floyd, MS, owner of Swirl Wine Brokers and Luli Wines; Gina Gallo, winemaker for E. & J. Gallo Winery; and Stephanie Macleod, master blender of John Dewar & Sons. It was a wide-reaching discussion on balancing life and work, mentoring, finding inspiration and overcoming obstacles.\r\n\r\nThe room became particularly quiet during an address by Dr. Makaziwe Mandela, eldest daughter of Nelson Mandela and CEO and founder of the House of Mandela, a producer of wines from South Africa. She spoke of the challenges black women in particular face, as well as the need for entrepreneurship to move forward.\r\n\r\nThe event concluded with a nod to women\u2019s increasing interest in whiskey, and a farewell reception featuring whiskies from around the world.\r\n\r\nThe next symposium will take place in Napa on March 12\u201314, 2018. For more information, visit womenofthevine.com.