Diversity, equity and inclusion drive positive sustainable change

Albert Baladi, President & CEO, Beam Suntory

 IWD 2022

At Beam Suntory, our brands and our people have the power to inspire human connections. This includes the trailblazing women of our history, such as Margie Samuels, co-founder of Maker’s Mark, credited with the brand’s distinctive name, cutting-edge bottle design and iconic dripping red wax, and, Bessie Williamson, an icon of Laphroaig and the first female distillery manager to own and run a Scotch whisky distillery in the 20th century.

It’s our belief that we are at our best when we foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive company that recognizes who we are and where we come from, but also, our potential to be a better company and positively influence society. Like helping to break gender stereotypes, debunking misconceptions such as spirits, like whisky, only being for men. It’s why our teams have worked to create programming that welcomes everyone to the category.

While we’re proud of the progress we’re making, there is still work to do to advance representation and ensure our culture and opportunities support, empower and grow our people as individuals, leaders and teams. This includes achieving our goal of 50% of women in leadership roles globally and having clear requirements for diverse candidate slates.

We ultimately believe driving positive, sustainable change takes collective action. At all levels of our organization, we are mobilizing our workforce. This year, all people managers are required to set DEI goals, and every employee is equally measured on both their performance goals and their demonstration of our company behaviors, including “Be Inclusive.” Our Employee Impact Groups and DEI workstreams, along with our parent company Suntory Holdings and our industry peers and partners, continue to review progress and host more open and honest conversations on important topics like gender equity and intersectionality.

For me, DEI is a business imperative and a societal imperative. I’m both a CEO and a parent to two daughters. It’s my commitment, and my responsibility, to use my influence to help others do better. That journey starts with me and my everyday actions to learn, listen and act. This includes being a better ally for women by calling out biases, challenging the status quo and holding myself and leaders accountable. #BreakTheBias



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