Lion and Asahi give insight into workplace diversity and inclusion

July 1, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Following on from talking with Endeavour Group’s Dan Holland and Diageo Australia’s Amanda Lampe about the social responsibility of drinks businesses, Drinks Trade felt it would be useful to dive deeper into some other examples of Australian drinks businesses actively encouraging workplace inclusivity.

One such business is Lion Australia. People & Culture Director Jane Hill.

“When we get involved, we get involved,” said Jane Hill, People & Culture Director at Lion.

“Testament to this is that Little Creatures was a sponsor of Mardi Gras for three years and a key sponsor of World Pride. Our message was clear – All Creatures are Welcome.” 

Similarly, Asahi Beverages lit up its Cascade Brewery to show support for the cause.

Roz Lever, Group Chief People & Corporate Affairs Officer of Oceania, said, “we did it last year, and we’ve done it again this year. We lit up our Cascade Brewery in the rainbow colours. It looks absolutely amazing, and we did that for a whole week during Pride Month as well.”

Lion recently became the first drinks manufacturer to be awarded gold tier status at the Australian LGBTQ+ Inclusion Awards by AWEI. One of the common threads that has helped to position Lion, Endeavour Group, Diageo Australia, and Asahi Beverages as drinks industry leaders in driving inclusivity is the focus on internal programs supplemented by external initiatives.

“At Lion we feel that support for the LGBTQ+ community shouldn’t just be focused on a month or days of significance, and as such Lion and the Pride team work incredibly hard throughout the year to create a better, safer and more inclusive environment both within our company and the community,” said Jane Hill. 

“We do this through changes to policies, practices, support programs, fair work practices, raising awareness, and creating marketing that is more inclusive.”

Similarly, Asahi Beverages has recently focused on internal education efforts.

“One of the things that was really important to us is we’re very big on education at Asahi: It’s really important to us, not just with our Pride unit group, but also all of our D&I ERG groups,” said Roz Lever.

“We’ve done training this month around allyship and the importance of allyship, which was fantastic… We really want to make sure that our organisation is inclusive, but also [that it] reflects the diversity of the communities that we operate and live in. That’s really important to us.”

Australia’s drinks industry also has its own pride group, Pride in Drinks. The group, launched in February 2023 by the Drinks Association, is currently Co-Lead by Campari’s Jamila Diamonon and Asahi Beverages’ Tammy Heuych and includes more than 12 drinks businesses looking to progress diversity in drinks. Diageo, Endeavour Group, Lion, and Asahi all form part of the industry group.

“The Drinks industry also has their own Pride Group: Pride in Drinks which is made up of over a dozen drinks businesses who are passionate about creating an inclusive environment for all members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community so everyone can be their best selves,” said Jane Hill. 

“This aligns to the Drinks Association objective to advance the drinks industry as an inclusive destination of choice, reflective of our society, by deepening awareness, promoting advocacy and building practices that attract, develop and retain diverse industry talent. 

“Having said that, we have a way to go and continue to work as a Pride team to keep pushing ourselves to drive awareness, acceptance and inclusivity within our business and beyond.”


Interview: Endeavour & Diageo Australia pride leads discuss social responsibility of drinks businesses

How is the drinks industry showing LGBTQA+ support this Mardi Gras?

The internal programs driving inclusivity in our drinks industry

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