Diageo INC.: Moving inclusion forward
Diageo celebrated Pride month by hosting their biggest ever Inclusion Week, complete with events, lively debates and TED-style talks.
The birth of INC.
INC., as the week was branded, came about when Diageo’s LGBT+ Rainbow Network realised that their colleagues were passionate about far more than LGBT+ issues. Speaking to staff highlighted an appetite for driving a bigger agenda around inclusion, so INC. was created as a brand with a sense of purpose that celebrated people’s difference and individuality.
Diageo’s London Rainbow Network Chapter reached out to the wider business for support from like-minded people who could help make their ideas a reality. INC. took 10 weeks to create with the key players becoming ‘inclusion evangelists’ along the way.
INC. content was organised into four key areas – key-note, storytelling, education and celebration. Within these areas, a variety of topics were covered, including disability confidence, faith and bridging the divide, support for trans* employees, gender equality, LGBT+ working in hostile countries, flexible working, unconscious bias and many more. With all of these, speakers looked at why inclusion makes business sense – citing the business case often shared by OUTstanding that inclusion not only encourages openness and authenticity, it also drives productivity and therefore benefits the bottom line.
Engaging the business for maximum success
Having the full backing of the business was crucial for success. As a company built on innovation and taking bold bets, Diageo was 100% behind all the plans for INC.
Celebrating positive impact
The success of INC. for both organisers and attendees was overwhelming. Team leaders have reported that their teams are discussing much wider and more challenging issues than they would have done previously, and there’s a positive atmosphere throughout the business that the INC. team can leverage for future initiatives. There were also a few stand out moments, which served to demonstrate why weeks like INC. are so important.
Looking to the future
Positive testimonials have flooded in following the successful week, along with lots of offers from speakers who are keen to return. There’s appetite within Diageo to grow INC. into a movement, so the group have already planned to run smaller events every 2-3 months to meet employee demand.
Andrew Porter, Creator of INC. and Leader of Diageo’s Rainbow Network in Europe commented:
"Bringing people together with the common purpose of making our business as inclusive as possible is something I’m hugely passionate about. Helping to shape our Pride Week inclusion event – INC. – has been a fantastic experience, and we’ve run a brilliant programme of events that were thought provoking, informative and inspiring. I am really proud of the Diageo Rainbow Network and all the people in the wider business who have united to make this possible."
INC. has changed the way people ‘think, feel, say and do’ at work, and has set Diageo in good stead for the future.