Updated: Mar 16, 2018
Diageo's Johnnie Walker is rolling out a female version of its iconic "striding man", an attempt to draw more women to the world's best-selling scotch and acknowledge a broader push toward gender equality.
Jane Walker is the first-ever female iteration of the brand's iconic logo, and she will debut on a special-edition offering of the brand's Black Label blend. It will be available to whisky fans nationwide (U.S.) beginning in March to coincide with Women's History Month and International Women's Day celebrations.
The introduction of the first-ever female brand icon and the Jane Walker Edition bottle represent Johnnie Walker's commitment to inspire and champion the diverse communities moving our country forward. In addition to celebrating historic female figures through the support of Monumental Women, Johnnie Walker will also celebrate the next generation of female leaders by donating a portion of Jane Walker Edition proceeds to She Should Run, who are dedicated to inspiring women to run for office.
“Important conversations about gender continue to be at the forefront of culture, and we strongly believe there is no better time than now to introduce our Jane Walker icon and contribute to pioneering organizations that share our mission,” said Stephanie Jacoby, vp of Johnnie Walker. “We are proud to toast the many achievements of women and everyone on the journey towards progress in gender equality.”
Women have played a significant role in the brand's history dating back to 1893, when John Walker & Sons purchased the Cardhu distillery from Elizabeth Cumming. Cardhu is one of the single malts that comprises Johnnie Walker Black Label and is considered the heartbeat of the blend. Elizabeth Walker, the wife of founder John Walker, was also fundamental to the creation of their own blended whisky, working alongside John and their son Alexander in the original Walker grocery shop. Today, nearly 50 percent of the brand's 12 expert blenders are women, with female leadership across marketing and C-Level executives.
The Jane Walker launch is the latest part of the brand’s “Keep Walking America” push, which began in 2016. The campaign is an attempt to speak to a broader audience, with ads spotlighting Latinos and veterans.