The Embrace Difference Toolkit

The Embrace Difference Toolkit

The Embrace Difference Toolkit

July 21, 2021

Successful Diversity & Inclusion programs share several main drivers: robust metrics, leadership engagement and alignment, integrated talent processes and a business-focused strategy.

Businesses in the liquor industry come in various shapes and sizes and may not all become experts in all these areas at the same pace.

The Embrace Difference Toolkit aims to address this by turning aspirations into reality and giving businesses the tools they need to be inclusive, no matter where they are at on their diversity and inclusion journey. 

The See Difference workstream has now completed Levels 1 and 2 of the Embrace Difference Toolkit. Asahi’s Sandra Gibbs is leading the team which includes members from nine drinks companies of different sizes. Together they are working to have Levels 3 and 4 completed by the end of 2021.

Leader of the See Difference workstream, Sandra Gibbs said, “The Toolkit is a great way forward for companies of different D&I maturities and can be used in conjunction with the D&I Diagnostic Scorecard. It will support them to understand the ‘how’ in terms of what practical steps to take to advance their maturity – irrespective of companies differing starting points in their D&I journey.”

The Toolkit – A step by step process 
The Toolkit allows a business to self-diagnose accomplishments across four distinct ‘maturity’ levels: Foundation, Curious, Motivated and Integrated.  As companies rise through these levels, their D&I programs have an increasing impact on their businesses.

In the first instance, businesses interested in the toolkit should refer to the Diversity & Inclusion Diagnostic chart to establish which level of toolkit is suitable for them. The workstream also has a dedicated group of individuals assigned to each company to partner with them on how to interpret and use the toolkit. 

Each level of the toolkit comes with practical resources which can be easily integrated into any business. For example, Foundation level includes gender equity, parental leave and domestic abuse policies, among others. 

The language and legalities are all included within the policies and businesses can review, adopt, adapt and make the policies their own. Businesses will also find guidance as to how to implement diversity and inclusion into training and development sessions for their senior leaders and how to build a committee of champions for diversity and inclusion from all levels of their organisations


Campari’s Rebecca Hui completed the toolkit’s first level, Foundation, along with Frankie Harding, Communications Manager at Casella Family Wines and Natasha Cahill, Global People and Culture Director at Australian Vintage Limited. 

Foundation includes a self-diagnosis tool as well as generic D&I policies that can be easily branded as well as a talent management and recruitment guide.

Ms Hui says, “First of all you need to assess where you are on the matrix, next step is to think about how you bring that journey to life, and how you plan for it. Then consider how you integrate it with the business plan. Part of that flows on to how you engage with your leadership team and how you establish your steerco.”

In considering who is part of that steerco, Ms Hui makes one particularly important point: “Senior leaders absolutely must be included in that steerco to really influence and make that change. Without that buy-in, it is really hard to get the traction that is needed for such a big movement.”

With the right people in the steerco, businesses can then set about how to involve everyone in the workforce and bring them along on the road to improved diversity and inclusion.

Level 2: CURIOUS

Curious builds on the foundations of Level 1 and seeks to expand the company’s mindset in terms of the importance of D&I and how to challenge current thinking. 

This level was largely built with the assistance of Madelyn Ring, previously of CUB, and team with support from Sarah Abbott, Inclusion and Diversity Leader at Lion.

Ms Abbott says, ‘It’s critical at this stage that companies are overt in their actions in ensuring that their processes, policies and practices are inclusive and equitable. This means including senior leaders and team members at all levels within the business to establish a solid foundation upon which to grow.  If we don’t consciously include, we unconsciously exclude.”

Levels 3 and 4 are being worked on by Ms Abbott along with Treasury Wine Estates’ Sarah Felden and Rachel Wolfe, and Coca Cola Europacific Partners, Nancy Hatch. It is due for completion in Q4 2021.

The Diagnostic Checklist and Levels 1 & 2 of the Toolkit are available for members of the Drinks Association via the Industry Council page of the Drinks Association website.

Level 1: Foundation: Now available
Level 2: Curious: Now Available
Level 3: Motivated: To be completed end 2021
Level 4: Integrated: To be completed end 2021

and Summary