2023 has been a momentous year for the Embrace Difference Council, and I’m immensely proud of the progress we’ve achieved and the strides we've collectively undertaken as advocates for diversity, equity and inclusion in our industry.
From International Women's Day celebrations to our State Chapter events, the Inclusive Leadership Program, the successful launch of Pride In Drinks, and all the effort put into developing our brand new comprehensive and streamlined Diversity & Inclusion Report, we've sparked important conversations, inspired change, and implemented improvements that have benefitted individual organisations and the wider drinks community.
Everyone who is part of the Embrace Difference Council has busy day jobs, yet they graciously find the time to collaborate with a team of individuals who are passionate about creating an industry that is inclusive, fair and just a great place to work.
From my perspective, there are three key reasons why the work carried out by the Embrace Difference Council is so important.
First, we exist as part of a community that includes consumers, customers and suppliers. Together, we want to advance our industry to be reflective of society and strengthen our position as a career destination of choice.
Secondly, embracing difference, diversity, equity, and inclusion has proven to increase engagement and increase the bottom line. Retaining and engaging passionate individuals is not just an individual business imperative; it’s a shared commitment that encompasses our entire industry.
The third reason is that embracing difference is no longer just a virtuous act; it’s becoming a license to trade, comparable to the significance placed on sustainability. When we meet with our external stakeholders, they're not just asking about the products we offer, they're also asking about our commitment to diversity and inclusion.
And underpinning all three of these elements is the belief that it’s simply the right thing to do. It goes beyond business strategies and profit margins; it's about creating an industry where everyone feels valued, heard, and included.
Our journey is ongoing, and I'm excited about our continued progress. Thank you for your relentless support, dedication, and hard work.
Together, we are shaping a brighter and more inclusive future for the drinks industry and beyond.
Embrace Difference Council Chair