Beam Suntorys Victoria Russell addresses women leaders event

Beam Suntory's Victoria Russell addresses women leaders event

 November 02, 2022

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Beam Suntory Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Victoria Russell, is named as a speaker at the Women at the Top Americas event hosted by Financial Times Live in New York and online.  Women at the Top focuses on how can purposeful action from leaders drive real change.

Purposeful action from leaders drives change

"The last few years have been a tough environment for businesses. Post pandemic recovery is in full swing but rising inflation threatens to disrupt growth once again. This means a squeeze on real incomes and more pressure on businesses to remain competitive. As profits decrease, how will boardrooms across the Americas approach their diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategies, long seen as a nice to have and not imperative to operational outcomes?" says FT Live. "D&I needs to be positioned as a market opportunity and a core business strategy. Studies have shown that a truly diverse workforce improves productivity, performance, and creativity. How do you build a culture to increase the percentage of women throughout the business - not just at the top? What does the future of leadership look like? How can companies retain diverse talent and show loyalty? As we see a shift in net wealth towards women, does this impact businesses making decisions at board level? How can purposeful action from leaders drive real change?"

A range of insightful topics are on the agenda: 

  • Female leadership in a new era - How to get more women to become founders, board level executives, CEOs and investors
  • Ensuring D&I survives the pinch
  • How to create an inclusive work culture which increases company performance
  • Engaging men in gender initiatives
  • How to foster diversity and inclusion without alienating

A diversity, equity & inclusion leader 

In January 2021, Victoria was named the first Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of Beam Suntory, a world leader in premium spirits. In this newly created role, Victoria joined the company’s Senior Leadership Team and leads diversity and inclusion across talent acquisition, career development and employee retention, marketing, community relations, and building organizational capability to better recognize bias and further drive inclusive mindset. Victoria also supports the development of diversity guidelines for the company’s supplier base and champions Employee Impact Groups and leaders across the business.  

Before joining Beam Suntory, Victoria had a successful 14-year career at Papa John’s International, ultimately stepping up during difficult times in 2018 to become the first to lead diversity, equity & inclusion. In that role, Victoria was credited with step-changing the company’s actions to build a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization comprised of 120,000 team members. She previously held marketing analytics roles of increasing responsibility, providing valuable insights into the business, and the customers and communities they serve. Prior to Papa Johns, Victoria held compensation and marketing roles at Lexmark, Humana, and Brown-Forman and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and an M.B.A in Marketing from the University of Kentucky. 

Victoria serves on several non-profit boards including, Fund for the Arts – Board Chair, Leadership Louisville, and the Chestnut Street YMCA. In 2019, she was named Woman Making A Difference by Louisville Business First and selected as one of Louisville’s Forty Under 40.

She was also featured in The Business Journals’ Influencers: Rising Stars, a national list of influential young executives. Her other recent accomplishments include Leadership Louisville Class of 2020, University of Kentucky 2019 Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award, founding member of the Adweek D&I Council and named one of the Adweek & Adcolor 2020 Champions of Diversity & Inclusion.

Victoria was also named to the Executive Leadership Council, honored as a Daughter of Greatness by the Muhammad Ali Center and featured as Today’s Woman 2020 Most Admired Woman in the Corporate Category.

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