Many of the UK’s breweries have been called out recently over accusations of bullying and sexism in the industry.
The claims started after an American Instagram account @ratmagnet invited women working in the beer industry to share their experiences. This thread led to several negative responses in the UK after the British Beer Girl blog run by Siobhan Buchanan posed a similar question on her Instagram account.
One of the breweries accused of sexism was Manchester’s Marble Brewery which owns the Marble Arch pub on Rochdale Road, as well as a Marble Taproom in Salford.
One of many stories posted anonymously read: "Once, a supervisor sexually assaulted another staff member. This was brought to management and they did... nothing. This man continued working, without even a suspension while they 'investigated'. (It's worth noting that this is a few years ago, and this man no longer works there).
"I have multiple horror stories from my time working there. It's a bit of an open secret among Manchester bar workers that they are terrible to work for, but they NEVER get called out because nobody wants to deal with any retaliation."
In response to the claims being shared online, the company issued several statements promising to investigate the allegations of discrimination. Marble’s company director, Jan Rogers, also confirmed her resignation, admitting that as the boss, it was her ‘ultimate responsibility.’
In a public statement, Rogers said: "This statement is to offer my wholehearted apologies to any member of the Marble community that has felt bullied, harassed or who suffered unduly whilst I have been managing director at Marble.
"As director of the company, it was my ultimate responsibility to ensure good practice. While I may not have been directly involved in what appears to be a negative working culture, it happened on my watch and therefore the buck stops with me.
"I do not think it is appropriate for me to respond to any individual allegation in the public domain as it is unlikely to further the original need for change within the industry. A transition to the new management team will take place over the coming weeks and I am assured that their priority will be a full investigation and review of the people and culture within Marble Beers Ltd.
"Please remember that there is a team of people who work here who have nothing to do with the historical allegations that have been made and they do not deserve to be abused online or in person. I hope you will bear with Marble whilst a new management structure is implemented, and I wish them all the very best for the future."
A subsequent post on Twitter from Marble Brewery responded by saying: "We are greatly saddened at the announcement of Jan Rogers' plans to step down from her role as Managing Director within Marble Beers Ltd.
"As the new leadership team, it is our first priority to ensure no member of staff or our community is currently suffering due to their work, while concurrently working to investigate thoroughly the past culture within the company and to learn lessons on how we need to improve the support we provide to our staff and our wider community.
"Out of respect for all of those involved, this work will take some time for us to complete and we hope that you'll be patient with us while we undertake this. If you have any information that might be relevant to our investigation, we would like to invite you to come forward in the strictest confidence to provide this information to us. You can email any concerns to [email protected].
"In the meantime, please bear in mind that we have a small team of people who have nothing to do with the historical allegations that have been made. Our staff do not deserve to be abused online or in person in relation to this or any other matter.
"We would like to express our sincere thanks to Jan Rogers for not only leadership over the years but for being the pioneer she has been for women in the industry. We look forward to taking Marble Beers Ltd forward in the best way possible."
Marble will now appoint a new board of directors to take the company forward.