Hosted by Tammy Heuych (CUB Asahi) and Alex Bailey (Lion), Co-Chair Leads of Pride in Drinks, the March Round Table was a virtual event where attendees had the opportunity to hear from a passionate panel of guests from Absolut Vodka (Pernod Ricard) and Solotel Group. Annabelle Parker and Hollie Hutchison shared the history of Absolut Vodka and stressed the importance of maintaining authentic connections with the LGBTQ+ community by working with marginalized groups and keeping a pulse on what is important to LGBTQI+ people.
During the warm Q&A session, Annabelle and Hollie reflected on how much they enjoy working with the community and their careers, and mentioned that their Pride peer network within Pernod Ricard is part of the development of their Pride campaign, which is repeated every year. This was followed by an organic conversation between Elliot Solomon, CEO of Solotel Group, and Tammy and Alex, where Elliot talked about the long-standing connection Solotel has had with the community and the importance of keeping safe spaces for LGBTQI+ people. He candidly admitted that, as a hospitality business, they are still learning and improving on better ways to be more inclusive in everything they do, and it is essential to always be willing to "listen."
The event was a solid reminder that we may not always get things right, but with the best intentions and open conversation and dialogue, we can create a culture of keeping LGBTQI+ inclusion and diversity top of mind in everything we do. The floor was open for questions shared through the chat, where attendees discussed some key ways to enable LGBTQI+ inclusion and diversity in the drinks industry.
Overall, the March Round Table was a successful event that brought industry leaders together to discuss important topics and share experiences. The event provided valuable insights and perspectives on the importance of maintaining authentic connections with the community and the need for ongoing learning and improvement. Attendees were encouraged to keep an open dialogue and always be willing to listen to create a culture of inclusivity and diversity.