Young Lion Brewery: Leveraging Female Leadership?

by: Sheri L. Lambert, Marcia Layton

Publication Date: September 14, 2022
Length: 14 pages
Product ID#: 4-350-998

Core Disciplines: Leadership/Organizational Behavior, Marketing/Sales, Strategy & Management

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Teaching Note

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Description

This case features a woman entrepreneur whose early-stage company has achieved some regional success creating craft beer in a highly competitive, male-dominated beverage industry. Jennifer Newman, co-founder and CEO of Young Lion Brewing Company (YLBC), had entered the business not as a craft beer technician, as nearly all brewers do, but as a seasoned entrepreneur and business analyst. Newman recognizes that people may doubt her ability to produce a quality craft beer successfully. The reason? She is a woman, and they assume her beer can’t be as good as beer brewed by men, or that women wouldn’t be interested in craft beers and, therefore, wouldn’t have the expertise or palate to judge a quality brew.

Now, after her company has established itself, Newman ponders how to scale. What kind of marketing can improve YLBC’s standing? For example, should she focus on being a woman-owned company selling beer targeted to other women? Or, should she emphasize that female-led Young Lion rises to the challenge of a market historically dominated by men?

Newman herself was the primary information source for this case, sharing her professional background, experience at YLBC, and personal feelings and passion around being a woman in a predominantly male-dominated industry. This brings authenticity and an emotional connection that can motivate students.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Evaluate the role of business in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)—within a company, across customers, suppliers and distributors, and among industry associations.
  • Understand the distinction between gender bias and implicit bias.
  • Examine the strengths and weaknesses of gender differences and subsequent management (or industry) perceptions.