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Diageo marks International Day of People With Disabilities

Diageo marks International Day of People With Disabilities

 December 05, 2022

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Diageo marked International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD), a day to show support for disability equality, learn from colleagues, and challenge its thinking for the company to adopt more inclusive behaviours, and create opportunities for all.

“If we look into our past, we can find many examples of building a culture to support those working with disabilities. During the second world war, a young brewer, John Brown, was badly injured and lost a leg however went on to be Head Brewer at St. James's Gate in 1968, playing an important role in the history of Guinness,” shared Diageo

As with gender, ethnicity, LGBTQIA+ and other intersectionalities of diversity, improving disability inclusion isn’t just the right thing to do, it helps Diageo to grow. 

Here, we take a closer look at some of Diageo's work around the world to support its people, partners and the communities in which it operates.

Boosting employees' awareness

Diageo has launched disability inclusion guidelines. These guidelines were created in collaboration with Disability:IN and Diageo's employee resource group We Are All Able. Now available in 15 languages, large font, and audio formats, Diageo hopes its guidelines will help foster a safe environment, and act as a powerful education tool.

Building on this for International Day of People with Disabilities, Diageo created ten simple tips to help everyone improve digital accessibility in their day-to-day roles.

Because Diageo doesn’t want to make assumptions or generalise, it also launched disability disclosure, inviting employees to share their disability, allowing it to better understand the people who work with for the company, and ensure Diageo is an environment where everyone can thrive. 

Disability disclosure has now launched in Africa, alongside the United States of America, United Kingdom, Ireland, Hungary, India, Kenya, Uganda, and the U.S. Virgin Islands with further markets to follow in the next 12 months.

From America to Australia, Diageo sites across the world lit up purple to spark organization-wide awareness, and its global headquarters in London served purple cocktails, with screens across the building displaying a message of equality Label bottles, not people: celebrating differences.

Diageo’s commitment to community

By making social investments and forming partnerships with organizations around the world, Diageo is committed to creating opportunities for everyone.

In India, Diageo is proud to have a long-standing relationship with not-for-profit organization Youth4Jobs which gives skills development training to people with disabilities. 

Over the last 18 months Diageo’s Youth4Jobs partnership has seen it recruit, select and on-board more than 62 people with disabilities across its Diageo India manufacturing sites. 

Today, colleagues have roles on supply lines, including inspection and bottle filling, and Diageo has regular connect sessions to ensure support is maintained. Looking forward, Diageo has plans to hire beyond manufacturing over the next year.

"Our partnership with Youth4Jobs allows us to provide our teams with knowledge and guidance around how we can be truly inclusive. This is only the start, and we are continuing to improve accessibility at our sites where possible. We will continue to learn from those around us and my big ambition would be longer term, I would love to see the learnings on inclusivity from our manufacturing sites become more common practice within India,” said Diageo Chief HR Officer for India, Shilpa Vaid. 

Authentic representation across Diageo brands

From the day Diageo launched its first adverts from Guinness in 1929, it has aspired to tell stories that weren’t available elsewhere and were told from different perspectives. Through its progressive marketing commitment it maintains this outlook today across all its brands.  

Most recently, Guinness unveiled a new campaign Brothers, created for Africa, by the talented Africa Guinness team, for their African markets. The campaign celebrates how football fans make the experience of watching the game accessible for everyone, and introduce viewers to Miracle, who despite not being able to see the game, still brings an infectious energy that inspires others. 

Throughout the creative process members of the blind and visually impaired community were consulted to ensure the advert reflected an authentic experience. By working together, Diageo believes its efforts will help ensure it’s celebrating all differences and accelerating the change towards inclusion. 

But it knows there’s more it can do. Days like International Day of People with Disabilities are an opportunity to chart a more ambitious course for the future, while raising awareness, not just at Diageo, but across the industry more broadly.


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