The internal programs driving inclusivity in our drinks industry

March 12, 2024
By Cody Profaca

While events such as Mardi Gras and International Women’s Day present an invaluable opportunity for brands and businesses to demonstrate their support and to initiate important workplace conversations, it is important to recognise that the issues faced by these disadvantaged groups are experienced year round. 

Dan Murphy’s, Asahi Beverages, and Coles Group are three examples of companies that have internal programs dedicated to creating healthier and more inclusive workspaces. Dan Murphy’s Women in Drinks, launched last week in the lead up to International Women’s Day, was established to help female staff members thrive. 

“It’s a program that encompasses [Dan Murphy’s] team that have an interest in the drinks industry overall,” said Colleen Haggarty, National Lead for Dan’s Women in Drinks. 

“So not just wine but beer, wine and spirits… It really gives an opportunity to connect, to build that support group, and to foster relationships; to learn and grow from each other.”

“There’s some really well established female leaders in the industry and we just want to encourage all those that have a desire or that want to potentially grow and dive further into it –  so this is a great platform for that.”

Part of the objective of Dan’s Women in Wine is to provide physical opportunities that help its members to grow both professionally and as individuals. 

“So we kicked the week off with an amazing call from Jo from Billy Button Wines in Victoria and Kirra from Beachtree Distilling… We really want to do more networking events, we focus really hard on harvest, which we’re [currently] jumping into this year,” said Haggarty. 

This coming weekend, seven women will be selected from Dan Murphy’s staff to learn the end-to-end winemaking process first hand under the tutorage of Brown Brother’s winemakers Katherine Brown and Cate Looney. As Dan’s Women in Wine continues to grow, Haggarty says it will continue to focus on providing members with mentorship and educational opportunities.

“We are planning on sort of looking deeper into that mentoree/mentoring program as the sort of financial year goes on, but we just wanted to roll out really strong for International Women’s Day and harvest – those are the two massive things that were accomplished for the first part of the year,” she said.

Asahi Beverages has also established a specific internal resource group with the purpose of providing direct support and a sense of community to LGBTQ+ members of staff. 

“We have a Pride@Asahi Employee Resource Group which is focused on creating a sense of connection and community with our LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies at Asahi,” said Roz Lever, Group Chief People & Corporate Affairs Officer at Asahi Beverages.

Lever says one of the main methods adopted by Pride@Asahi is hosting internal educational events for its staff.

“Our Pride@Asahi team has also organised a series of events to mark Pride Month in June. This includes a panel discussion with LGBTQ+ speakers sharing their experiences,” she said.

“We’re proud to show support for our LGBTQ+ colleagues so that they can be their whole, authentic selves at work every day.”

Coles Group’s Pride Network is another example of a key industry stakeholder intentionally fostering a healthier internal working environment, something it has performed in addition to being an official partner of Mardi Gras for 2024

“Before the parade we hosted an allyship workshop with a diverse group of people from across the business where we discussed the best way we can show up for our LGBTQI+ community and make sure that everyone feels welcome at our table,” said Mia Lloyd, Coles Group Pride General Manager Sponsor. 

“It was inspiring to see our team members proud to have Coles representing them and celebrating with the crowds in such a joyous way.”

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