Diageo’s Drive for Gender Equality

Apr. 5, 2018


Good news in the struggle for gender equality in the world of beverage alcohol is bittersweet. While we at Breakthru acknowledge the importance of celebrating victories, we also see how much remains to be done in our industry. We are heartened, however, to share some great news coming from one of our supplier partners, Diageo, and the work they are doing to move the industry toward more inclusion and equal treatment for all.

A Place of Inclusivity and Respect

This month, Diageo North America was named one of the top 60 companies for women executives by the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE). According to reporting from WorkingMother.com, this is the seventh year Diageo NA has made NAFE’s top list, and that 250 key leaders, including the entire executive team, took part in a new training program on reducing unconscious bias and managing inclusivity. 

This kind of top-down leadership by example demonstrates Diageo’s commitment to equality and positions the company, once again, in a place of leadership within the industry. WorkingMother.com also points out that both Diageo’s CEO and EVP of Human Resources are women, and that 51% of employees earning promotions to the manager level and above are women.

Additionally, Diageo seeks to make their workplace more inclusive and welcoming with flexible working arrangements such as job share, flextime, compressed hours and opportunities to work from home. The company also supports its workforce with career development programs to provide coaching for all levels and stages of an employee’s career, and Diageo further supplements these initiatives with networking and education sessions from the Spirited Women's Network.

In a statement celebrating the NAFE list, Alessandra Ginante, EVP of Human Resources said, "At Diageo, we are passionate about cultivating an inclusive workforce, of which gender equality plays an enormous part," and "we are proud that women make up a third of our North America Executive Committee, and more than a quarter of our senior leadership team. Diageo congratulates all of the NAFE Top 60 Companies for Executive Women, and we are delighted to be counted alongside such an esteemed group."

Values in Action

Externally, Diageo has joined the “Free The Bid” advertising movement, creating greater opportunities for female directors and creators to gain a foothold in the often male-dominated world of commercial advertising. According to AdAge, Diageo has committed to ensuring at least one female director is included on all advertising bids. According to statistics shared with AdAge by Diageo, less than 7% of advertising directors are women, and only 9% of commercials are directed by women, per research from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film. By pledging to include women in every bid, Diageo’s leadership “might help nudge the industry closer toward true parity by giving more creative women and commercial directors a foot in the door on the bidding process,” according to analysis from MarketDive.com.

The process of erasing gender inequality is a long and often dispiriting fight, and we thank our partners at Diageo North America for their tireless work on behalf of equality. We are more proud than ever to offer their incredible portfolio, and we will work to help your business grow with these brands.
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