Judging is drawing to a close for the inaugural Contribution to Industry awards at the 2018 Australian Drinks Awards.
The Gender Equity Award, Inclusive & Diverse Workplace Award and the Corporate Social Responsibility Award will all be presented during the Australian Drinks Awards ceremony on September 13, at The Ivy.
The Drinks Association received an impressive number of submissions for the new category and the high calibre of entries will make choosing the winners a daunting task.
The awards were created to recognise and celebrate companies driving positive change in the drinks industry.
"Like all the Australian Drinks Awards categories, showcasing real-life examples by member companies encourages us all to raise our game," explained Denis Brown, Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion at Drinks Council.
The Gender Equity Award (sponsored by Aon) and the Inclusive & Diverse Workplace Award (sponsored by Coles Liquor) are united in their aim to make the drinks industry a more attractive place to work. Experts on the judging panel for the Inclusive & Diverse Workplace award include Pysnapse founder Dr Jennifer Whelan and Corporate Diversity Partners founder Jéromine Alpe. Meanwhile, Chair of Women in Drinks Jennifer Collins and Serendis Senior Consultant Bianca Havas are among those who are assessing the Gender Equity award entries.
"Numerous research initiatives show that diverse and inclusive workplaces outperform non-inclusive environments across many metrics," Brown explained. "On a people level the desire for inclusion is also quite obvious to me – you want people to bring their individual best, and the team/company/industry to achieve better results, managing inclusively will accelerate this.If we are not inclusive, I feel great people will be drawn to other industries and leave.
"At an industry level it is a long term battle for great people and the drinks and the hospitality industry is ultimately a people business."
Collins added: "I’m passionate about the drinks industry and its ability to attract, develop and retain talent – all talent. Our businesses need to reflect the demographic landscapes in which we operate. The business case is clear and well established."
Driving social & environmental change
Meanwhile, the Corporate Social Responsibility Award (sponsored by Endeavour Drinks Group) has been introduced to acknowledge the work drinks companies are doing to promote positive social and environmental change.
“I’m honoured to be one of the judges in the CSR category," said The Drinks Association board member Michelle Phipps. "The applicants have demonstrated a passion for Corporate Giving that transcends business goals and staff engagement to being more meaningful and sustainable to the broader community. The calibre of entries so far is impressive and smaller initiatives are as impactful as larger initiatives.
"I’m one of various judges across the drinks industry and appreciate the opportunity to recognise best practice in Corporate Social Responsibility via a rigorous process. The process is part of a scoring system that is evidence based and transparent to applicants and judges. This is an important award and I’m proud to be part of the first of its kind from The Drinks Association.”
The Drinks Association CEO Georgia Lennon agreed that even small acts have a big impact.
"This is a growing industry full of conscientious companies who want to make a difference to the world of alcoholic beverages as well as sustainability," Lennon noted. "This award highlights the achievements of those companies who are doing great things in this respect."