International Women's Day: Danni leads the way

The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won't close entirely until 2186. 

That’s 170 years – nearly two centuries.

This rather surprising revelation has organisers of today's International Women’s Day urging the world to #BeBoldForChange and help to build a more gender inclusive world. But closer to home, there are organisations which are on the front foot and already doing this.

One of the beneficiaries of Treasury Wine Estates’ focus on diversity in the workplace is its Bilyara winery manager Danni Casey.

From her beginnings as a process worker at Sola Optical, Ms Casey has forged an impressive career at Wolf Blass Wines and then TWE.

During the course of nine years, she has worked her way up the packaging line management ladder to her current position as Bilyara winery manager. Along the way, she has taken part in TWE's Women in Wine program – which involves monthly ‘lunch and learn’ sessions – and the company’s My Mentor program. In 2014, she was awarded the Mary Penfold Award – a global individual award which recognises and celebrates outstanding women in TWE.

“That’s probably the biggest and best thing that’s ever happened to me career-wise,” she said.

“It has actually allowed me to reflect on the concept of the Women in Wine initiative and the reasons behind its existence. 

“It is not women versus men or men versus women; it is the starting point for educating, promoting and supporting diversity in the workplace and working together to provide the best outcomes.”

As part of the award, Ms Casey had the opportunity to spend a couple of days with TWE’s executive leadership team and its managing director and chief executive Michael Clarke, which gave her a better understanding of the company’s overall direction and its commitment to workplace diversity.

“I’m lucky in TWE; I’ve never experienced sexism or anything like that,” she said.

“It’s a really good culture here.”

Ms Casey believes one of the roadblocks for women in the workplace is they are often the primary caregiver at home.

“This can at times cause women to choose between a career or a family,” she said.

“I’m lucky to have (partner Mel Partington) to help.

“Just recently Mel has gone back to work after eight years so we are sharing the workload, and it’s hard.

“I’m lucky that I’ve had her support.”

Ms Casey is also proud of her contribution to TWE’s Truvée brand, which has taken a “non-traditional approach” to brand marketing to capture opportunities for growth in the wine category among women aged 30 to 40 years.

The brand has undergone a complete redevelopment, with all aspects of the brand’s positioning, wine style, varietals and packaging steered by a cross-functional group of seven women known as the Truvée Collective.

“We got together and made all the decisions on the wine, from start to finish,” Ms Casey said.

“It was great to see how the product came to life.”

Outside of work, Ms Casey has also forged a formidable reputation as a hockey coach for both the Tanunda Hockey Club and the Barossa Valley Hockey Association.

“When I moved to the Barossa, I got involved with hockey straight away; they’re like family,” she said.

Along with Nuriootpa’s Andy Milne, Ms Casey is a coach for Hockey SA’s Development Athlete Program which identifies and trains junior hockey players.

She is also president of the Tanunda Hockey Club, and will coach the A Men’s team this year for the second time.

“I’m also taking on an under 13 team,” she said.

“One of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done is to take those kids through to under 18s.”

Additionally, she has applied to coach the under 15 boys zone team, and will coach the Barossa women’s team for the Country Championships.