07 Mar 2024 |

Celebrating a Decade of Dedication

Belen Catalan and the Spirit of Inclusion at Deanston Distillery
Celebrating a Decade of Dedication

As the world comes together to celebrate International Women's Day and inspire inclusion, it is only fitting that we shine a spotlight on a remarkable woman who has been an integral part of the Deanston Distillery family for a decade – our Visitor Centre Manager, Belen Catalan.

Belen’s journey at Deanston began by overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Visitor Centre. Over the years, her role has expanded to include the creation of much-loved events like Winterfest and Dramsfest, showcasing her passion for both the distillery and creating memorable experiences for visitors.

We sat down with Belen to discuss the importance of International Women’s Day and inspiring inclusion at Deanston.

Why is International Women’s Day important? 

‘Today is a reminder of the strides that have been made towards equality, but also a call to acknowledge and address the gaps that still need to be bridged.’


What does this year’s theme, ‘Inspire Inclusion’, mean to you?

Inspiring inclusion for me doesn’t just mean being included for being female, it means being included for my expertise, my views, and my ideas. It also means paving the ways for those who are also still so underrepresented in the industry.’.

Belen spoke of the transformative shift within the whisky industry, breaking away from traditional stereotypes and challenging the outdated image of a whisky drinker.

‘The industry is moving away from the traditional picture of a male whisky drinker with a cigar, sitting in a big leather armchair sipping a dram by a fireplace. It has historically been assumed that women don’t drink whisky, and this is far from the truth. I remember my friend’s granny – who would always have a dram before going to bed – ordered a whisky at a wedding. She took a sip, looked at me and said, ‘They’ve watered it down…’’.


As a woman in the whisky industry, how do you feel included at Deanston Distillery?

‘I feel lucky enough to work in two industries: whisky and tourism, with the former historically being male dominated. Little by little women have taken their place on the stage.

When interacting with visitors, my gender doesn’t come question. They want to know more about the distillery and our whiskies, and I’m valued because of my expertise. At Deanston, I’m lucky to work with a team, who yes, are mainly male, but don’t even consider my gender. I’m just Belen. One more member of the team.’

How do you inspire others to be included?

‘I think it’s leading by example. I am a firm believer that you are nothing without your team – I am so lucky to have them around me. I hope that they would say I try my hardest to always allow them to run with their ideas, have their voice heard and know that I back them 100%. I don’t look into gender, age, nationality, etc. everyone is equal to me, and everyone deserves the same opportunities.’

Having dedicated her life to the tourism industry, Belen was proudly and rightfully acknowledged as one of the Top 100 Women in Tourism in 2022. Her humility shines through as she emphasizes that each of the 100 women is equally important for their unique contributions.

On this International Women's Day, we are proud to celebrate Belen Catalan's decade of dedication, resilience, and the inclusive spirit that she brings to Deanston Distillery.