Diageo Global Inclusion and Diversity Director Caroline Rhodes speaks about improving gender equality


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Diageo Global Director Caroline Rhodes chooses to challenge

Diageo Global Director Caroline Rhodes chooses to challenge

 March 12, 2021

"Now, more than ever, we must be resilient and Choose to Challenge in order to drive true change," said Diageo Global I&D Director Caroline Rhodes who spoke with HR Magazine about International Women's Day and improving gender equality.

For Caroline, following the pandemic, progress on gender equality seems more fragile and uncertain. But she believes that from challenge comes change. 

"If opportunity is born from a crisis, we must now challenge the status quo and ensure gender parity remains a priority," she explains. "IWD asks us all, women and men, to put our hand up high, and show the world we are in."

In her article, Caroline explains how individuals and companies can go about making real change.


Creating policies and practices that create change

Firstly, Caroline believes we should challenge ourselves to have policies and practices within an organisation make a true impact. Diageo provides a parental leave policy that supports all parents within its workforce, regardless of sexuality, adoption, foster care or surrogacy.

Diageo's Flex Philosophy recognizes each employee’s unique circumstances, offering flexible working practices that enable them to balance work and life.

Caroline also explains how Diageo has introduced guidelines focusing on gender identity and expression as well as menopause to support employees during key life phases and address equality and inclusion in the workplace more deeply.

Challenging businesses to be accountable

"Increasing diversity should be the responsibility of each and every one of us," continues Caroline. She explains that a ‘must do’ building block in Diageo's Performance Ambition is the "onus on all employees to champion an inclusive and diverse culture".

"As a centrepiece to our 2030 Diageo Spirit of Progress goals, our business has the opportunity to bring to life the goals we set for ourselves over the next decade," she adds.

"Women now make up 38% of our executive committee, and we are increasing the number of women in leadership roles across the company; we have recently set new goals to ensure 50% of all leadership roles are held by women by 2030."

Taking responsibility to renew commitment to equality

Finally, Caroline encourages everyone to challenge their own perceptions and attitudes and showing up more as allies for those around us. This is what shapes communities and where, adds Caroline, a small contribution from everyone can make a big difference.

"In this moment, it is the collective responsibility for each of us to renew our commitment to equality and work harder than ever to inspire change and progress. And it starts with all of us choosing to challenge," she says. "I’m in – my hand is held up high – how about yours?"


Be empowered to hold your hand up high at Diageo

Diageo knows that the best performing businesses prioritize inclusion and diversity and the company believes it is crucial to create a culture with inclusion and diversity at its heart. 

Diageo's commitment starts with its people and its aim is to ensure that everyone around the world can thrive.

Take a look at the latest job vacancies and forge a career where you are valued.

 

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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