25 January, 2020

Embrace Difference: senior leader ownership vital to drive change

Embrace Difference: senior leader ownership vital to drive change

The Drinks Association's Embrace Difference Council held a panel discussion on "The future fitness of our workplace" in Melbourne this week.

The discussion explored key learnings from the drinks industry and Property Male Champions of Change. It featured panellists Madelyn Ring, Vice President of People at CUB and Linda Smith, GM People and Culture, ISPT, a property fund investment manager & also one of the Property Male Champions of Change Implementation Leaders. They discussed effective initiatives to drive change for the future and the role of men in influencing change.

Facilitator for the session was Sonia Dunne, Planning Director at CUB.

Ring has 20 years of experience across organisational design, leadership development and change management. She was a member of the Women in Drinks Board and now Embrace Difference Council with the Drinks Association and is passionate about Diversity & Inclusion.

Smith is an experienced Human Resources practitioner with a special interest in organisational culture, leadership development and inclusion practices. Linda’s industry experience spans multiple sectors including retail, aviation, health, education, legal and manufacturing. Six years ago Linda took on the challenge of establishing the People and Culture function at ISPT. As the General Manager, People and Culture, and member of the executive team, she is responsible for building people capability across ISPT and ensuring best practice strategies and programs are in place to support the wider organisation.

Key take outs were the similarities across both the drinks and property sectors. Learning about the traction gained from the Male Champions of Change program was really positive and it was great to hear that it has only continued to grow in size and scale. 

The discussion showed the importance of senior leader ownership to not only drive change in their organisation but society at large. 

Ring also discussed some of CUB's initiatives in the D&I space, including an overview of the Diversity & Inclusion committee at CUB, which is co-chaired by 3 members of the CUB-LT and made up of multiple streams including the Amber League (Women in Drinks), LAGER network (LGBTQI & Ally’s – Lesbian And Gay Everyone Respected), Disability & Ageing, which are all managed by employees spread across the country.

Smith shared learnings from Property Male Champions of Change, a coalition that uses their individual and collective leadership to elevate gender equality as an issue of national and international social and economic importance.

The panel reinforced the value of flexible workplaces, mentoring, providing exposure and opportunities for women and unconscious bias training.

The Embrace Difference Council is a Drinks Association industry diversity and inclusion initiative.

An evolution of prior industry Councils - Women in Drinks and Diversity & Inclusion at Drinks - the Embrace Difference Council looks to support organisations and have a positive impact across industry through the fostering of diverse and inclusive practices.

Thank you to everyone who joined us to the event and to CUB for hosting at its Conference Centre. 

Embrace Difference chapters now run events in five states. For more information visit http://www.drinkscentral.com.au/Womenindrinks or contact info@drinks.asn.au

Pictured main: Linda Smith, Sonia Dunne and Madelyn Ring.