NEW ORLEANS, USA - Women who set up their own businesses will succeed if they are knowledgeable about their field and “trust their knowledge”; that’s according to the owner of a successful wine bar and store in the city of New Orleans in the United States.

It’s 7pm at Swirl wine bar in the Faubourg St John neighborhood of New Orleans a wine tasting is underway.  Some 300 different wines from all over the world, but with an emphasis on Italy and France, are stacked in wooden racks around the small but bustling wine bar-cum store. The Swirl staff circulate and discuss grape types, vintages and regional growing variations with customers.

Beth Ribblett set up the business almost 14 years ago. “My work means making sure my customers are enjoying themselves and I also get great satisfaction from educating people about the wine we are serving”, she told UN News on a visit to Swirl. “I want them to know where it’s from and the story behind the wine. This is one of the most important things we do. Is I always want to be learning, and educating customers helps me to do this.”


Male dominated industry


Ask any bar or restaurant owner in the United States and they will tell you it’s a hard business to make a success of and Beth Ribblett says it’s especially difficult for women. “The catering industry is male dominated from chef to sommelier, so it can be tough for women.”

Read more here about Beth Ribblett’s job.

And she says that women continue to be treated badly. “I am sad to hear stories of men taking advantage of young women and I hate that this is still part of our business.  I am upset that women feel they have to put up with this behavior or somehow ignore it in order to make progress,” adding that her advice to young women is “to be knowledgeable, trust that knowledge and be confident if challenged.”