Home    Diageo    Insight

Do you know about International Scotch Day?

 February 09, 2017

 Read time

Diageo’s Dr. Emma Walker certainly does.

Charged with the responsibility of coming up with new incarnations of a whisky that was first introduced in 1820 by the Scotsman it was named after, Emma Walker is an impressive Blender.

Starting with Diageo in 2008 as a scientist in its Whisky Specialist Team, Emma spends her days working on bringing the world’s best-selling Scotch brand, Johnnie Walker to the whiskey lovers of today.

International day to worship Scotch

Annually 10 February marks the birthday of the brand’s pioneer, so it is perfectly fitting that this day is celebrated globally by Diageo as International Scotch Day.

“It might be that some people see Scotch and Johnnie Walker as something their dad drank. But if we can get people reinvigorated, looking at Scotch again, looking at Johnnie Walker again, that would be brilliant,” explains Emma.

Fascinated by science in early career

With an early interest in science, Emma remembers visiting a chemical plant with her school class and being fascinated by how many pipes there were. Soon she was completing her doctorate in sulfur oxidation at the University of Sheffield’s organic chemistry department. This led to a job at GlaxoSmithKline Plc before her career at Diageo.

Her chemistry background has certainly helped drive her impressive career. “Just having that idea at the forefront of your mind when you’re looking at the age of whiskies, the strength of whiskies, which distillery you’re going to use, the level of fatty acids in the whisky, how they’ll react at certain temperatures, it awakens a different part of your mind, that more chemistry-focused part of your mind,” comments Emma.

An impressive high-achieving mentor

Emma’s mentor is Diageo’s Master Blender, Jim Beveridge, who believes her career path has been original. “Sometimes the best in the business start as a blank canvas and if you look at Emma’s career, she joined the team from a scientific pharmaceutical background, then she left this team for a while to go into production. It’s not technically what she does, but it’s how she does it.”

Passionate about the product

Emma believes she is reaching her career goals with the help of great teams at Diageo. “I work alongside a team of incredible people from all over the world that share my passion for innovation, creation, and of course whisky - all working with a common goal … to make a truly great product.”

Importance of women scientists as role models

An impressive role model, women scientists play an important  role in guiding and encouraging future generations of female scientists into likewise exciting careers. Around the world, an important day celebrating female scientists is International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

There are so many amazing and varied opportunities available at Diageo, so take a look at some of their current vacancies or hear first-hand from their women about their exciting work and their thoughts about  company in the Where Women Work magazine.


Find out more

Stay connected by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and following us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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

Share this page:

  Linkedin     X     Instagram     Facebook     Press release 

Join our women's careers community