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Madelyn Ring International Women's Day

Madelyn Ring: Embrace Difference takes action for equality

March 10, 2020
By Alana House

Embrace Difference’s See Difference – Diversity lead Madelyn Ring launched celebrations for the Drinks Association’s International Women’s Day event on Friday, March 6.

The Embrace Difference Council hosted the event at Doltone House, Hyde Park.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is “Each for Equal” and Ring welcomed the 400 attendees with a stirring speech.

Here’s what the Vice President People at CUB, had to say:

“Welcome everyone to International Women’s Day 2020. Thank you for coming and helping celebrate women and all the amazing things they are achieving.

“As you may know the theme this year is Each for Equal. It means taking action for equality.

‘If you agree we need to take action for equality – then I’d like you to stand up (or sit if you can’t stand) and create the symbol for Each for Equal. Like this …

‘Awesome – I can feel the collective power in this room … please take a seat.

‘The good news is that last week the Embrace Difference Council presented at the Drinks Association Board and agreed on this same aspiration of equality – 50/50 gender split in our industry. Right now we are at 36% and haven’t moved the dial much from 2018 based on WGEA data. So we have a long way to go. We have the commitment – so I know we can do this!

“So let me explain a little bit about Embrace Difference and our role in helping us achieve that aspiration.

“The purpose of Embrace Difference is to:

“Establish the drinks industry as a destination of choice by facilitating awareness, challenging perceptions and building practices that attract, develop and retain diverse industry talent.

“I see our role in Embrace Difference is to hold the mirror up to our industry, our businesses and where possible each and everyone of us to show us the issues or bias we have.

“Knowing this we can challenge what we are doing and build new practices and behaviours that will mean people want to join our industry and that those in it will want to stay.

“We want to make a tangible difference and that is evident in our vision which is:

“To create a measureable difference to the way that the Drinks Industry embraces Diversity and Inclusion over the next five years.”

Embrace Difference International Women's Day

“How are we doing that?

“I’d like to highlight four key initiatives we are taking through the three workstreams of See Difference, Leverage Difference and Create Difference.

“We have created a scorecard for our industry. To start with that scorecard will look at gender – and that is because many of our organisations already report to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). Over time we will include inclusion and other types of diversity as we build on the scorecard.

“The aim is to understand what organisations are doing diversity and inclusion well and why so that best practice can be shared and organisations can take action. We will measure our progress year on year.

“We will introduce a Diversity and inclusion toolkit that has 4 levels of maturity from foundation to advanced. In the next few weeks we will launch level 1 – to enable companies to start the journey. Over the next year we will build on the toolkit based on feedback from your organisations.

“For leaders and individuals we are supporting them to be more inclusive. This is through the ongoing annual mentoring program as well as a CEO event we are planning for July this year. The aim of this event is to provide our leaders with the opportunity to understand their inclusive leadership style – their strengths and areas of development.

“We will continue to inspire and educate our industry and those in it through events like today as well as the state chapters. If any of you are interested we are looking for males and females to support the state chapters – so please let us know if you are interested.

“We have over 50 people from across all of your companies who are so passionate about this purpose that they volunteer their time to improve diversity and inclusion.

“I’d like us to thank all of these people – many who are in the room today. Please put your hands together for them.

“I’d also specifically like to call our Alan Ko and Danielle Beale from Coca-Cola Amatil, the co-leads of Create Difference, who with their team of volunteers along with the wonderful Drinks Association team have organised today’s event!

“Lastly before I go … while you are here today I’d like you to reflect and think about …

“What you are going to do to help create equality? Each for Equal.

“Who are the women in your organisation who you should celebrate and develop?

“Are you providing the flexibility that primary carers need throughout their careers and not judging them for it?

“Are you really listening to all the voices in the room equally?

“How are the women in the room being brave and asking for opportunities and setting boundaries?

“I urge you to find one action you will take that will help create equality.

“Thank you.”

Embrace Difference International Women's Day

The Drinks Association’s Embrace Difference Council hosted its annual International Women’s Day event on Friday, March 6, at Doltone House, Hyde Park, Sydney.