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On IWD, Diageo employees share what equity means to them

On IWD, Diageo employees share what equity means to them

 March 09, 2023

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At Diageo, equity is more than just having an equal opportunity. Equity is about equipping people, so they're able to wholly fulfill their talent. 

In this inspirational video, we hear from Diageo employees about what equity means to them. From Aarti Calvin, who has broken barriers in a stereotypically male-dominated industry, to Alia Seraj, whose support of female refugees is shaped by her own experiences.

Each story is a personal reflection of how equity has helped them, and women across their markets, to achieve opportunities and success.

Diageo Marketing Director for Southern Europe, Ursula Mejia-Melgar

"I think the word Equity is really important because it means more than just having equal opportunity when I think about the war of equity I think that it's about equipping people in a way that it fulfills their talents," comments Ursula.

Diageo Marketing Manager, Bundaberg Rum & Johnnie Walker for Australia, Jodi McLeod

"It's about giving people a starting point and overcoming an obstacle. There needs to be greater understanding within companies on how to bring out the best in women," says Jodi.

"Bundy's had a really long involvement in sport for 12 years we thought that that was a really good opportunity for us to step in as a brand involved in sport and make a difference to equitable outcomes for women in a place that we had the ability to make a difference. We launched the world's first mixed gender Fantasy League, this was really about getting more male fans engaging in the women's game and more female game fans engaging more deeply in the statistics of the players. If we treat everybody the same we're not acknowledging that there are obstacles in front of some people that challenge them from getting to that equal outcome, and we're actually never going to get there if we don't solve those things in front of us."

Diageo Senior Liquid Scientist Europe, Arti Calvin 

"My own career has evolved and grown alongside my life stage. I didn't have to sacrifice my career when I became a full-time working single mom. Now that my daughter's turned 16, I feel like I've done the right things. I didn't have to compromise, because today I can be that role model," explains Arti. 

Diageo Corporate Relations, DIS & Foundation, Society 2030 for Kenya, Maryanne Nderu

"It's important to bring in women and persons with disabilities in order for them to get the same opportunities that we all have. When a woman is given an opportunity they make their family better, therefore making the community better. Learning for Life is an amazing program that introduces the community to business and hospitality skills. A program like this can really change a whole community," says Maryanne.

Diageo Head of Royal Challengers Bangalore & Extension Business for India, Rajesh Menon

"Sport is one of the most powerful platforms promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls. The women's Cricket in India is on an upward trajectory, and we believe that with all the work around that we are doing, this will give a really good impetus for us to push women's Cricket really closer to the men's cricket," says Rajesh.

Diageo PA to Supply Chain Director, Tequila for Mexico, Guadalupe Lozano 

"Historically, the tequila industry has been a purely male-dominated one. However, I have witnessed the first female operations in the operations and distillery. It was a male dominated industry to such an extent, that in our facilities there were only restrooms for men. But then we had more women in the operations area, we created showers, dressing rooms, bathrooms, and even a lactation room," Says Guadalupe.

"We have experienced many changes and advances, but we musn't be careless and take our eyes off the target."

Diageo Director, Shopper Marketing for North America, Alia Seraj

"For me being Afghan I think about the disadvantage that Afghan women, especially within Afghanistan, face every day because they don't have the ability to realize their potential realize their aspirations, and when they get out of Afghanistan, and they are refugees, and they come to a place like the U.S they're starting from significantly further behind than most women. It's one thing to believe that you're an ally, it's one thing to hold beliefs personally, it's something entirely different to put yourself into a place of action. I decided to join a refugee resettlement organization in Connecticut to help Afghan refugees really get a solid footing here in the states," explains Alia. 

"If we can provide people with the tools with the space to thrive and show their talents they can really shine."

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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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