Diversity & inclusion: New industry citations and developments

Diversity & inclusion: New industry citations and developments

Diversity & inclusion: New industry citations and developments

March 02, 2021

Pernod Ricard Winemakers, producer of Jacob’s Creek, St Hugo and Orlando, is Australia’s first wine company to be named an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) by the Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).

The WGEA citation recognises employers committed to achieving gender equality in the workplace. Citations are awarded each year and new citations last for a period of two years. Pernod Ricard Winemakers joins existing industry EOCGE citation holders: Diageo, Lion and Metcash.

Libby Lyons, Director, WGEA said: “This year, we are welcoming 17 new EOCGE citation holders who are joining the existing 119 citation holders from 2019-20. Despite the tremendous upheaval and disruption caused to Australian businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic, these dedicated organisations maintained an unswerving commitment to achieving their EOCGE citation.”

“I want to sincerely thank and acknowledge these employers for their extraordinary efforts in these trying times. We know that gender equality is good for business and crucial to our post-COVID-19 economic recovery. By driving better gender equality outcomes in their workplaces, these EOCGE citation holders are showing the right way forward for other Australian businesses.”

Pernod Ricard Winemakers

Bryan Fry, Chairman & CEO, Pernod Ricard Winemakers said: “Fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone has access to the same resources, opportunities and rewards is an important part of our commitment to valuing people. We are achieving this by instilling a mindset that drives long-term change, with gender being one area of focus.


“EOCGE certification publicly reaffirms the importance we place on gender equality and we are proud to be the first wine company to receive this recognition, as well as the only current South Australian based business out of the 136 organisations awarded this citation.”

At Pernod Ricard, 53% of senior managers and 43% of the workforce population are women. The business exceeded its 2017 target of 40 per cent female representation in leadership roles by 2020, reporting 45% female representation in Australian leadership positions in 2019.

Pernod Ricard’s diversity and inclusion program, Better Balance, is embedded in all levels of the organisation with Better Balance Ambassadors on all Pernod Ricard sites. (The scope of the Better Balance program has now been extended to incorporate diversity beyond gender, seeking to improve leadership representation of people from the LGBTQI and First Nations communities as well as cultural diversity.) 

Diageo Australia

Diageo is recognised as one of the most diverse and inclusive workplaces in the world. The business is included in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, on the Refinitiv Diversity and Inclusion Index and ranked as the best company globally for gender equality by Equileap.

Currently 60 per cent of Diageo’s Board is female, 38 per cent of its Executive Committee is female, and it is aiming for 50 per cent female senior leadership globally by 2030. Locally, Diageo Australia’s executive leadership reporting to the Managing Director is 57 per cent female and 43 per cent male while the extended leadership group is 51 per cent female and 49 per cent male.

The business has consistently ensured it has no gender pay gap, its family leave policy is Australia’s most progressive and it has provided gender equality for paid parental leave, with new dads throughout the business taking parental leave to support their partner’s own return to work transitions.

Managing Director at Diageo Australia, Angus McPherson said: “Now with our Society 2030 targets we’re setting even more ambitious goals to keep the momentum going in creating a workplace and a society that fosters gender equality. We see this as fundamental to our long-term sustainability and that’s why it’s part of our 10-year sustainability action plan.

“Diageo has long prioritised gender equality because it’s critical to creating a workplace where everyone can thrive. It’s key to driving performance, it attracts and retains the best talent and it’s absolutely the right thing to do.

“What we’ve seen when we implement gender equality policies and practices is that everyone in our business benefits as a result, whether it’s secondary carers who get precious time spent with their young child, people getting the opportunity to take on secondments, or primary carers who can continue to build their career and be supported in raising their family.”


“Appearing on this list sends a strong message to prospective employees, and society more broadly about the emphasis Lion places on gender equality in the workplace. It takes courage to challenge the status quo – and it takes courage to lead by example, but it is the right thing to do.

“Across Lion, we now have a female population of 40.2 per cent, which puts our 50:50 gender target for 2026 well within reach. We have always known that progress in this regard would take time, but it’s fantastic to see our strategies, such as making flexible work mainstream, and closing the gender pay gap – and conducting regular analyses to keep it closed, are yielding results.”

These initiatives are reflected across Lion’s Australasian operations, and in 2018 Lion New Zealand became a founding member of the YWCA Gender Tick, which reinforces a company’s commitment to gender equity and signals to applicants that Lion provides an inclusive and fair workplace for both men and women. 

Beam Suntory

In other diversity and inclusion news, Beam Suntory's first Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Victoria Russell, commenced her new role in January. Based in the US, Russell will lead diversity and inclusion across talent acquisition, career development and employee retention, marketing, community relations, and building organisational capability to better recognise bias and further drive inclusive mindset. Russell will also support the development of diversity guidelines for the company’s supplier base and will work directly with Employee Impact Groups and leaders across the business. 

“We are determined to build a workforce that looks more like our consumers, and we’ve set ambitious goals to accelerate the progress we’re making,” said Beam Suntory CEO Albert Baladi, "The people of Beam Suntory are passionate about continuing to build our diverse and inclusive culture, and we’ve created the position of Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer to elevate our approach. I’m delighted Victoria will take on this important leadership role, and I’m confident that she is the leader who can help take our work to the next level as she works hand-in-hand with our brand teams, Employee Impact Groups and leaders across the business.”

Russell joins Beam Suntory following a successful 14-year career at Louisville, Kentucky-based Papa John’s International, ultimately being the first to lead Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the brand. In that role, Russell was credited with step-changing the company’s actions to build a diverse, equitable and inclusive organisation comprised of 120,000 team members.


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