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Embrace Difference release Diversity and Inclusion Scorecard and Toolkit

September 23, 2020
By Ioni Doherty

After close to twelve months of hard work, research and consultation, the Embrace Difference Council has launched its Diversity and Inclusion Scorecard and Toolkit. Both resources are now available to Drinks Association members.

Rebecca Hui, HRD at Campari, said that there is no question as to the tangible benefits for businesses with diverse and inclusive workforces and practices.

“Traditional thinking has been about gender and race when it comes to D&I. But actually, it’s now about that push to the next level, understanding that diversity brings broader background knowledge and diversity of thought…

“Companies with established diversity and inclusion practices enjoy better profits, they outperform their competitors, they attract the best candidates and they retain their staff,” she said.

The scorecard is intended to help businesses benchmark themselves against each other – to actually see how they are performing on a D&I scale – while the toolkit is intended to support companies as they progress on their D&I journey.

Drinks Industry Scorecard

Angela Burgum, Commercial Finance Business Partners at Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) and Ashlee Thackeray, HR Business Partner, Pernod-Ricard worked alongside each other to develop the scorecard, intended to raise awareness of diversity and inclusion within the industry and invoke action for change.

”One of the key principles of the Embrace Difference Council is to make a tangible difference to our industry, and we want to measure if we’re making that difference. So, building a scorecard for us to track and measure some key diversity metrics was a logical place to start this journey, because we know that what gets measured gets done,” said Angela.

This year’s scorecard looks at gender equality and has derived its data from Australia’s government-funded champion of change, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).

“We have started with an important focus area of gender diversity as we have access to a high quality data-set through WGEA. Our commitment within the Embrace Difference Five Year Roadmap is to continue evolving the industry scorecard insights to include additional diversity areas,” said Ashlee Thackeray.

WGEA recently published data showing a strong causal relationship between company performance and women in leadership, finding that across ASX 200 companies, those with an increased share of women in key management positions saw a 6.6% increase in market value.

Of the findings, Angela said:

“It’s a compelling reason for us to hold the mirror up to ourselves and challenge some of the gaps in our gender composition. The scorecard puts a lens on the gender make-up of the key decision makers within our companies.

“Ninety-three per cent of drinks company participants have a gender equality policy in place, and it’s just a starting point for an indicator of inclusion until we develop that out, but it does give us a guide to a company’s commitment to gender equality and its commitment to creating an inclusive culture,” she said.

Ashlee agrees that the truth lies in the numbers: “Data plays a vital role in informing us of our current position and enables us (like any other business priority), to determine whether the initiatives in place are producing outcomes as intended. In the case of the Embrace Difference Roadmap, the industry scorecard supports us in reviewing our collective industry commitment to greater diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Starting from February 2021, an updated scorecard, informed both by WGEA reporting and the Embrace Difference Council’s HRD Forum, will be released annually by the Drinks Association. HRDs will share information, pulse checks and share initiatives taken by their businesses to improve D&I measures.

The Drinks Association encourages all members to contribute to the Embrace Difference Scorecard so it becomes an ever-increasingly robust tool for benchmarking, dialogue and ultimately, progression.

Seventeen Drinks Association members report annually to WGEA and the Drinks Association captured fifteen in the scorecard for 2020. This was a deadline driven reality more than anything. There is interest from companies not captured in the first version to contribute next year’s scorecard. To ensure confidentiality, the scorecard has been delivered to the HR Director and Drinks Association Board Director in each business.

Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit

The toolkit is intended to support businesses looking to implement and further integrate D&I practices into their businesses. It defines four distinct maturity levels: Foundation, Curious, Motivated and Integrated.

Rebecca Hui completed the toolkit’s first level, Foundation, along with Frankie Harding, Communications Manager at Casella Family Wines and Natasha Cahill, Global People and Culture Director at Australian Vintage Limited. The remaining three levels are currently under construction.

Foundation includes a self-diagnosis tool as well as generic D&I policies that can be easily branded as well as a talent management and recruitment guide.

Rebecca said, “First of all you need to assess where you are on the matrix, next step is to think about how you bring that journey to life, and how you plan for it. Then consider how you integrate it with the business plan. Part of that flows on to how you engage with your leadership team and how you establish your steerco.”

In considering the steerco, Rebecca makes one particularly important point: “Senior leaders absolutely must be included in that steerco to really influence and make that change. Without that buy-in, it is really hard to get the traction that is needed for such a big movement.”

With the right people in the steerco, businesses can then set about how to involve everyone in the workforce and bring them along on the road to improved diversity and inclusion.

The toolkit continues to evolve, and your feedback is invited and welcome. There will be plenty more to see when levels 2, 3 and 4 are released later this year. To access the toolkit and provide feedback, login to the Drinks Association website.