In Madison, women make 92 cents for every dollar men make. But that’s not the real pay equity issue.

How a local businesswoman broke into a male-dominant industry

MADISON, Wis.– It’s the last weekend of Women’s History Month, and News 3 Now is highlighting a problem that’s been affecting women for generations: pay inequality.

In Madison, women make about 92 cents for every dollar men make, ten cents above the national average. But the often-cited statistic is flawed and doesn’t compare women and men working the same jobs, with the same hours and experience.

For many women, the biggest barrier to success is just getting their foot in the door.

Molly Moran, owner of Table Wine in Madison’s Atwood neighborhood, quickly found that out for herself as she pursued a career in the male-dominated wine industry.

“There’s a lot of old school thinking that women aren’t able to do these jobs,” Moran explained. “They cared more about what I looked like than what I knew. It can be very off-putting to young women.”

Moran cites misogyny and stereotypes as two of the reasons there aren’t more female winemakers, on top of the fact that family land often gets passed down to sons and not daughters.

So when she broke into the business herself, opening Table Wine in 2015, Moran knew what she had to do.

“I see it as my duty to help women along the way that I either was at certain moments in my career, or very much wasn’t,” she said.

From who she buys from to who she hires, Moran is consistently cognizant to give women opportunities they often don’t receive, doing her part to hold open the door for the next generation of women winemakers.

“If I’m picking from two chardonnays from California, they taste pretty similar, and they’re pretty similar in price, I’m going to pick the woman-made wine,” she explained. “But first and foremost, the wine has to be good.”

“No matter who you are or what gender you are, I am going to make sure you feel safe in my shop,” Moran added.

Of the 300 bottles Moran sells, about one-third are made by women, well above the industry average. This month, she debuted a special ‘woman-owned’ section on Table Wine’s website, so customers can more easily support women winemakers.

You can read more about Moran, Table Wine, and the fundraiser currently underway to support Madison Black women in this month’s edition of Madison Magazine.