Drinking Culture & Inclusion
Do you interpret “going for drinks” as just chatting over beverages?
🍻 Ideally, “going for drinks” is a quick and easy way to socialize with coworkers, friends or anyone you are getting to know or catching up with.
🥛 What you are actually drinking shouldn’t matter.
But it’s not that simple.
Sometimes “going for drinks” as the go-to social activity at work or other environments for team building or community building is not inclusive.
🥩 If I take a vegetarian to a steak house but let them know there is a veggie dish on the menu, was I really inclusive?
Forget inclusive. Was I really even considerate?
🍺 When the assumption is that most people will indulge in alcoholic beverages and those who don’t can choose from more limited, non-alcoholic options, “going for drinks” leaves a different taste in your mouth.
And it can be uncomfortable.
🌍 Drinking culture varies across cultures and alcohol consumption itself varies more than we think among individuals.
❗️There are many people who don’t consume alcohol for religious, cultural, medical, substance abuse, dietary or simply personal reasons.
‼️ And their reasons might be private.
Yet I often see an assumption that we all drink to relax, have fun, unwind and loosen up as we get to know each other, underlying things like:
🍷 ”Mommy wine culture” and related jokes about moms needing their wine;
🧉 ”Going for drinks” as the go-to socializing event for parents within their kids’ school community;
🥂 Workplace drinking events where drinking is the appeal or focus and talked about as such;
🍸 Afterwork settings where the alcohol offered is the draw of the venue, like specialized breweries, cocktail bars or wineries.
I’ve even seen wine tastings🍷as workplace team-building events.
Maybe it’s time to add more variety to our go-to get-togethers with coworkers and community members, because it’s easy to say we value inclusion . . .
😉 The trick is picking up on opportunities to PRACTICE inclusion.
❓What are your go-to social invitations for an after work catch-up or community building?