29 February, 2020

Celebrating gender equity & inclusion at the Australian Drinks Awards

Celebrating gender equity & inclusion at the Australian Drinks Awards

The Drinks Association was proud to honour contribution to industry in the areas of gender equity and diverse and inclusive workplaces at the 2019 Australian Drinks Awards. 

The Inclusive & Diverse Workplace Award recognises organisations that prioritise diversity and understand the value of an inclusive workplace for individuals and their organisations; while the Gender Equity Award focusses on excellence in gender equity initiatives and programs in the workplace. 

Both awards were introduced in 2018 to honour unique and out-of-the box initiatives and strategies that demonstrate a commitment to corporate social responsibility principles. This year, Coles Liquor sponsored both awards. 

Coles Liquor Acting Executive Officer Cathi Scarce noted on stage prior to presenting the Diverse & Inclusive Workplace Award: "Coles Liquor is incredibly proud to sponsor the Inclusive and Diverse workplace award for the second year in a row. This award is designed to recognise those in the industry that prioritise diversity and recognise the value of ensuring that it is supported by inclusion. 

"Undoubtedly diversity is a key focus in the business strategy of many of you here tonight but the most diverse workforces in any organisation will not deliver any improved business return without making sure the environment is inclusive and allowing people to truly thrive and deliver. At its best inclusion is described as people feeling confident and inspired and the correlation between that and improved business performance is proven many times over." 

The Diverse & Inclusive Workplace award went to Diageo, which has launched an engagement framework that better signposts and embeds its inclusive culture right across its business. It has also invested in a coaching program for its leaders that helps harness the diversity of its people and adapt its leadership style to be truly inclusive.

Diageo also launched a progressive Flex Philosophy that recognises that “everyone has a different story, with different needs”. It noted that it trusts its people with the freedom to choose where, when or how they can best achieve and help the company grow."

"Tonight’s winner has developed a series of strong initiatives including wide employee consultation, policy implementation where required and a real commitment to moving professional well being to the forefront of the organisation," Scarce said.

"They have focused a huge amount of attention in coaching and aligning their leaders at all levels and providing a range of internal programs that truly mean there is something to meet the needs of everyone. They have been recognised externally for their great work and their senior leaders have made this a strategic imperative which shows in their employee engagement results."

The difference between equity & equality

Regarding the Gender Equity Award, Scarce said: "There is an important distinction that needs to be understood as we continue this journey - gender equality and gender equity are related terms, but have different meanings. While the words sound similar, the definitions are different.

"Related to gender and the workplace, equity sets the stage for equality, as it refers to the “fairness of treatment for both women and men, according to the their respective needs.” If equality is the end goal, equity is the means to get there."

This year, the Gender Equity Award went to Pernod Ricard Winemakers. Scarce noted that the caliber of entries was outstanding, which made choosing the winner a close call. 

"Pernod Ricard Winemakers showed the judges a program to support equity that was clearly part of a way of doing business rather than just an initiative," Scarce explained. "The approach was humble and holistic and inclusive of everyone. The communications both top down and bottom up show that its being embedded in the culture with a great deal of thought as to how it allows the organisation to be at its best and gain growth as a result." 

The Australian Drinks Awards are an initiative by The Drinks Association to celebrate excellence in the drinks industry. The 2019 awards were held on August 22 at Doltone House, Jones Bay Wharf, Sydney.