VP of Marketing for The Glenlivet Sona Bajaria and bartender Jane Danger told us about their work and the future of whisky. Read on to hear about their work opening up the world of whisky and how they see the future for women in their fields.
Sona Bajaria has held the position of Vice President of Marketing for The Glenlivet and high-end Irish Whiskies at Pernod Ricard USA since September 2016. Most recently, Sona has been spearheading a powerful new brand repositioning for The Glenlivet single malt whisky that aims to challenge assumptions and values that are no longer relevant.
Jane Danger is the National Mixologist for Pernod Ricard, a role that allows her to flex her creativity for high-profile brands like Absolut, Jameson, Beefeater, and Perrier-Jouet. Prior to Pernod Ricard, Jane helped open some of NYC’s most coveted cocktail bars and worked at one of The World’s 50 Best Bars, The NoMad, which won a James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program.
Sona Bajaria: I have more than 20 years’ experience in building and transforming consumer brands, with a passion for purpose-driven marketing.
Jane Danger: I would describe my career as a cheese plate of sorts. There’s a little bit of everything.
Sona Bajaria: Through my work as the VP of Marketing for The Glenlivet, I’m honored to create a purposeful brand that is redefining our outdated notions and assumptions on some of society’s most important issues, including gender.
Jane Danger: I’m proudest anytime I’m invited to do something or given a task because of my abilities, not because they need the token woman in the group.
Sona Bajaria: Make it personal; getting to know others and building relationships is essential to good business, and it makes your work infinitely more enjoyable. Never doubt yourself; you likely know the most on your subject matter, so don’t forget it.
Jane Danger: I think putting your head down and working hard still applies. Learn to do all points of service in your bar. Work at many different kinds of bars. Then find your thing and lean in hard.
Sona Bajaria: At Pernod Ricard, we have a lot of young, impressionable talent. They’ll come into meetings at our offices and inevitably sit on the sidelines or in a corner, and I’ll invite them to take a seat alongside the executives. I think physically having a seat at the table has a real impact on the psyche. I see a serious boost in confidence and participation. It’s a small but important gesture that will hopefully be paid forward.
Jane Danger: It’s on the upswing. When I started there weren’t many of us in the cocktail scene. Female bartenders were mainly at the neighborhood bars and dives. The playing field is a little more even these days.
Sona Bajaria: Any way!
Jane Danger: In a ricky—lime juice and soda.