This week we’re highlighting the hospitality powerhouse that is Harriet Leigh of Archie Rose Distillery in Sydney. Harriet has shone at multiple women’s events in recent years including her inspiring words at Coleman’s Academy and just this week at All About Women at the Sydney Opera House.
We’re featuring the Archie Rose Original Vodka this month, which goes exceptionally well in one of our house made sodas.
Hi! I'm Harriet Leigh, Head of Hospitality for Archie Rose.
Why have you agreed to participate in this project?
Because I'm a firm believer in never saying no.
Why are you passionate about being involved in these collectives?
I love and loathe them in equal measure. While I think it's great to cast light on women doing great things, it keeps the conversation on gender within industry, and usually your ovaries have little impact on how you do your job or what makes your job interesting.
How did you become involved in this field?
I'm a dedicated drinker.
How do you think we can challenge gendered attitudes in future?
I think these attitudes ARE changing. The younger generation is more compassionate and educated on human rights and social equality than any generation that's come before them. The internet is a great leveller - justice is swift online. Women have held top jobs around the world and it's only growing. Of course in distillation there is still a lot of work to do. There is upwards of 350 distillers in Australia, only 14 of those are women. That's a pretty sobering statistic. But then again our industry has it's trailblazers - people like Leslie Gracie smashing records with Hendrick's shows that there have been victories.
Are there any women in your industry that inspire you?
Role models - You know I have never worked under a woman in my career. Which says a lot about the gender divide.
Mentors - Victoria Tulloch who is the head of marketing here at Archie Rose is my unofficial mentor. She doesn't know it but I secretly pretend in my head that she is my official mentor.
Historical figures - Ada Coleman - former Head Bartender of the American Bar at the Savoy in London 100 years ago. Creator of one of my favourite drinks - The Hanky Panky. What a boss.
What are you most proud of?
I'm terrible at bragging. But to this day I get a massive buzz when I'm in a restaurant or bar and I see our gin. It's been three years and I still can't believe I get to do this for a living. I was in Melbourne recently and I asked for a Gin and Tonic and the bartender asked me if I'd heard of Archie Rose. I was pretty proud in that moment. I was very proud of the Horisumi range of gins - especially Winter - I actually think it's a truly great gin. I'm very proud of my colleagues and I utterly love working with them.