The Drinks Association proudly launched its Inclusive Leadership Program last night at Lion's Sydney headquarters.
Lion MD James Brindley (below), who is a former program mentor, kicked off the official proceedings by noting that the drinks industry was "legitimately focussed on diversity".
"This is a really rewarding program for both mentees and mentors," he said. "I got so much out of it."
Previously the Women in Drinks Mentoring Program, the initiative will again be facilitated by Serendis Leadership Consulting.
The cross-industry leadership and mentoring program aims to enhance a culture of inclusion across the drinks sector while supporting a diversity of talented, aspiring leaders to progress their career. Participants also have the opportunity to enhance their inclusive leadership capabilities to bring back to their own teams, organisations and the broader sector.
This year, for the first time, both men and women have been accepted as mentees, recognising the importance of providing all emerging leaders the opportunity to develop inclusive leadership skills and experience the benefits of this impactful program.
Serendis director Bianca Havas said: "It is exciting to see the sector committed to and actively integrating inclusion into their business practices. Given that companies within the drinks industry are at different levels of maturity when it comes to integrating diversity and inclusion into their businesses, I see there is an enormous opportunity for businesses to support each other in terms of sharing best practice and what they have learned along the way to influence the whole sector."
Panel praises program outcomes
A panel discussion at the launch - featuring former mentors and mentees Nicole Stanners (Campari), Jonathan Sully (Bacardi), Andrew McLaren (Moet Hennessy) and Melissa Maidment (Diageo) - explored the benefits gained from participation in the program.