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Women at Diageo Iberia are driving commercial success

Women at Diageo Iberia are driving commercial success

 February 27, 2020

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Working at one of the leading drinks companies in Spain and Portugal is exciting. Diageo Iberia is built on a rich heritage, sustained through innovation, and women play a key role in its continued success.

Diageo Iberia employs around 350 people, with a large proportion working in sales and marketing. Its staff come from 14 different countries and every employee knows they’re part of something big.

Where Women Work meets three women working with Diageo Iberia to learn about their career journeys.

Meet Marta Bello, Senior Key Account Manager

Diageo Senior Account Manager Marta

Working in Portugal as a Senior Key Account Manager, Marta Bello describes herself as someone who “sees the opportunity versus the issue” in all aspects of her life.

“I’m a hard-worker who likes to set goals and achieve milestones. As a professional and a mother-of-three, negotiation and effectiveness are in my DNA. I hate to waste time,” she says.

Marta has “lived two lives” with Diageo as she initially joined in market research, before transitioning into marketing and then customer marketing. She left the company for a stint with Mattel, but rejoined as Commercial Planning and Activation Manager for Portugal and then moved into sales.

“I’m what is called a ‘360º manager’, because in Diageo that is possible. We have freedom to succeed and we’re incentivised to face changes and to leave our comfort zone,” says Marta.

Marta works in sales for the off trade channel (where shoppers buy products from retailers to take home). “More and more people tend to stay at home and enjoy quality drinks over quantity,” she says. “It’s amazing to be part of consumers’ choices when they’re celebrating or relaxing in their indulgent moments.”

The most challenging aspect of Marta’s role is also the best part - the pressure, the urge to get things done and knowing that she cannot control everything.

“It feels really good to take responsibility and I enjoy the feeling of a victory,” she adds. “My advice to others is to do everything you can to win but, if you don’t, take the lesson and improve next time.”

In terms of the skills required for Marta’s role, she says ‘agility’ is key. “In sales we need the ability to read the scenario. Moreover, we need the ability to transition from one skill to another as we engage with a variety of stakeholders,” she explains. “This agility is what drives momentum every day. It’s also important to empathise with people, have a will to win and the ability to work under pressure.”

Marta recommends further women consider jobs with Diageo Iberia due to its work culture. “The culture is based on people and performance. It’s very appealing to work in a company that gives you all the tools to win and at the same time cares about your personal work-life balance,’ she says. “I would describe us as a winning company that celebrates life every day, everywhere.”

Flexible working is one of the benefits Marta enjoys at Diageo and, for her, it’s the most important.

“I work for the best company in terms of work-life balance. As a mother-of-three, I’m able to work from home. I can organize myself, I don’t lose time in traffic jams, most meetings are digital and I’m more effective - which is key in Diageo’s performance culture,” she says.

For women looking to apply for jobs with Diageo Iberia, Marta has some advice: “It’s important you can connect with people and help them bring their best for the company to grow as a whole. Integrity and a positive mindset are also very important,” she says.

“Don’t be afraid to change, the worst thing we can do is to be in our comfort zone. Try to learn something new every day - we can always grow through projects, gym training, in our jobs, and with our kids - we just need to be open to it.”

Meet Eugenia Spitalnick, Regional Sales Director

Diageo Iberia Eugenia

Eugenia Spitalnick is Regional Sales Director for North West (Spain) and Andorra. She considers herself a self-driven and optimistic person who is curious and willing to learn.

“Effort and dedication are fundamental pillars to achieve everything I want. Through these pillars, I live a full life both personally and professionally, and I’m able to resolve problems and learn from them,” she says.

Eugenia started her Diageo career as an external promoter while studying Psychology at the University of Valencia. Then, before she completed her degree, Diageo offered her a two-year contract as an internal promoter for Baileys.

“When I finished university, I was then offered a field sales role in Murcia and thought ‘why not?’’” Eugenia continues. “Now, after going through a series of roles in the company, I have the exciting challenge of leading North West (Spain) and Andorra as Regional Director.”

Eugenia is responsible for realising the objectives of the company in a strategic way. “I create an environment of freedom for people to contribute their ideas, acknowledging the value of diversity as a key factor for success,” she says. “The main skills needed are: able to work in multidisciplinary teams, people management and problem solving.”

Eugenia says one of the most challenging aspects of her job is keeping her team motivated and ensuring they understand the impact of their work on the company’s overall objectives.

“The part of my role I enjoy the most is managing people and contributing to their professional development. It’s particularly rewarding when members of my team are promoted,” she adds.

Diageo Iberia employee Eugenia

Diageo’s emphasis on work-life balance allows Eugenia to pursue her outside interests of reading and traveling with her family. “Our work schedule is often flexible. Without doubt, Diageo is an example of a company allowing employees to strike a work-life balance,” she comments.

Eugenia recommends Iberia as a fantastic work location and says Diageo welcomes colleagues of all nationalities and backgrounds.

“Being originally from Argentina, my family and I have always felt at home in Iberia. It’s outstanding in many ways, such as the friendly people, marvelous landscapes and fantastic food and drink,” she explains. “Diversity and inclusiveness are key to Diageo’s culture - not only in Iberia, but around the world.”

Diageo Iberia is a great place where women enjoy professional development across departments and in key roles. Women also have an extra month of maternity leave,” Eugenia continues. “It’s sometimes overwhelming to think about the many different responsibilities we have in life - to be good workers, good mothers, good friends, good wives, but there are companies like ours that give you the space to reach your goals.”

Meet Ainara López Basurto, HR Director

Diageo Iberia HR Director

Ainara López Basurto is HR Director Iberia and is based in Madrid. She uses three words to describe her personality and interests: “people, learning and excellence.”

Her professional ambition is to make a positive difference in people’s lives and, in order to do so, she chose to study Education and Psychology before working in HR.

“I find energy in learning and discovering new things, people and places. And I pursue excellence by setting high standards in terms of what we deliver and how we do it - following clear guiding principles to ensure decisions are aligned to Diageo’s values.”

Ainara initially joined Diageo in a Resourcing & Training Manager role. “I was so excited about the opportunity to work for such a big, leading company which was well known for pioneering in so many areas, such as HR practices,” she recalls.

“I had the opportunity to live Diageo’s culture from the very first second I visited the offices for an interview. I felt a perfect match between my values and aspirations and Diageo’s culture.”

Ainara soon moved into an HR Business Partner role and gained her first experiences managing the people agenda, partnering with business leaders to leverage talent and diversity.

“I had the chance to grow in some different roles so that I partnered with all the local business teams and also moved to other HR teams in Europe to work with panEuropean teams, she comments. “These experiences led me to the exciting director role and offered massive opportunity for growth.”

“We in HR work with the business leaders on the end to end management of their teams – via talent, diversity, learning, performance, rewards, and organization effectiveness agendas,” Ainara adds. “Our ambition is to help managers to be the best leaders ever.”

Ainara says working with people is both the most challenging and interesting part of her role and she finds that conversations create the opportunity to learn.

Diageo Ainara travel

Ainara describes being based in Iberia as “amazingly positive”. She enjoys the weather and gastronomy of Spain and Portugal as well as the friendly people.

In her spare time, Ainara likes to travel, see family and friends, and sports such as rolling and Zumba. “Balancing our personal and professional lives gives us the opportunity to be the best version of us,” she says.

Ainara is a strong advocate for Diageo Iberia as an employer and cites initiatives such as flexible working, 6 months family leave for male and female employees, special working time for various situations (e.g. post-maternity leave), virtual work, family leave, and birthday leave as top examples of how employee work-life balance is a priority for the company.

“Everybody can be themselves since being inclusive is critical in Diageo,” Ainara adds. “Managers get the most out of employees and leverage their potential, and collaboration is the foundation of our day-to-day jobs.”

Ainara concludes with some advice for further women: “be clear on your aspirations and trust yourself. Simply be yourself and go for it.”

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