Going for Drinks

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.

For reflection:

❓What are your go-to social invitations for an after work catch-up or community building?

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