Though the beer industry has been making a push to appeal more to both sexes, only 29 percent of brewery workers are female, only about 17 percent of craft breweries have a female CEO, and only 4 percent of breweries have a female head brewer. The numbers aren’t particularly better for America’s largest breweries where a female had never held the position of CEO—until this week, that is.
"For me, not moving forward is not an option. While very different, it [the diagnosis] is very similar in a lot of ways to being the first woman distillery supervisor—because they just really didn’t accept me in the beginning—of being in physical chemistry grad school, because they don’t really accept you. But what I tried to do was not make a fuss about it and not notice it so much. Oh, I noticed it, of course, but you just keep going."
Yoshida will admit that “since sake brewing is a classic Japanese tradition, it tends to refuse change." She can recall a time when women weren’t even allowed in the brewery, but insists that she’s faced "no obstacles that were gender-related.” She actually dismisses the idea, firmly stating instead that she’s “lucky be a woman.” Yoshida is focused on bucking a different set of traditions.