Women in Specialty Coffee - How Much Are They Involved From Bean To Cup?


According to the Coffee International Organization women contribute significantly to the overall coffee production.

Approximately 30% of coffee farms are female-operated and up to 70% of labour in coffee production is provided by women, depending on the region in the world. Despite this women still have less access to resources, such as land, credit and education compared to men.

Women carry on the same tasks as their male equivalents, from picking, sorting to carrying and processing the coffee, however, they still receive less compensation. 

Additionally, even though women are a huge part in the first stage of the production chain they are considerably less represented as decision-makers within the process as in many coffee-producing countries, the law does not favour women’s rights to own their own business.

One example of a female dominated country in terms of the coffee industry is Colombia and thanks to this there is a culture which fosters the well-being of the community and the wild forest farming landscape, as opposed to mono-cultivating and not embracing the local ecosystem and reducing their impact on the environment.  

More and more women can now be seen everywhere within the industry from behind the scenes as roasters and coffeepreneurs to World Barista Champions. 

Even though women make up a huge part of the Specialty Coffee industry there is a long way to go until they are all properly acknowledged and rewarded for their contributions. 

How can you support women in the Specialty Coffee industry? 

Here are some of the pages we would recommend you to follow on social media if you would like to know more/support women in coffee:

Girls Who Grind Coffee

Girls Who Grind Coffee is an all-female specialty coffee roastery owned and run by Fi O'Brien and Casey LaLonde.

As women, they had felt a little pushed out of an industry that they had loved so much and had so much to give to. They wanted to see a change and create an industry where women felt empowered and celebrated for everything they bring to the table and have their voices heard. 

Hence why they focus solely on buying coffee from female producers, sharing their stories to the world, giving them the recognition they rightly deserve for the incredible work that they do.

For more info @girlswhogrindcoffee

Strong Women of Coffee

Laura started this project because the world needed to know more about the amazing women within the coffee industry, and to change the perception  of people so when they think of “women in coffee” they think of them as strong, intelligent and bold women which are making a huge impact within the industry. 

For more info @strongwomenofcoffee

Women in Coffee Project 

The Women in Coffee Project aims to create a platform for women who are leaders as coffee producers, importers, and exporters to offer their perspective in this complex industry.

Their goal is to promote awareness of gender equity issues in coffee-producing countries, be a resource for the community on how to engage with gender equity, and host panel events annually for female leaders at origin to share their experience.  

For more info @womenincoffeeproject 

International Women's Coffee Alliance

The mission of the International Women's Coffee Alliance (IWCA) is to empower women in the international coffee community to achieve meaningful and sustainable lives and to encourage and recognize the participation of women in all aspects of the coffee industry.

In 2003, women from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and the US came together to focus on their shared interest: improve all aspects of the coffee industry by empowering and connecting women. 

Over time and with important partnerships, this idea grew to be an established organization that connects individuals, communities, and partners; and in so doing empowers women to lead themselves, their family and communities, and the global industry, to sustainable livelihoods.

For more info @iwcaglobal

We hope to see more representation and recognition for all of the hard women within the coffee industry, let us know in the comments if you know of any other organizations which are uplifting the voices of these inspiring women!

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