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Report Dives into Inclusion and Belonging in the US Alcoholic Beverage Industry

This week, BCW Member HEINEKEN USA announced the release of “Fostering Belonging & Inclusion in the Alcoholic Beverage Industry,” the second report within its ongoing Behind the Label program. Expanding on last year’s gender diversity findings, the report draws on alcoholic beverage employees’ perspectives on bias and inclusion in the industry, and how organizations can address both to improve belonging across the workforce.

In looking at employees’ experiences, the research showed that a majority (86%) say they have experienced some type of personal bias during their time in the industry. These employees recognize that efforts are being made to address these issues and 70% say they are confident in their company’s ability to improve inclusion and diversity.

While they point to a variety of things that their organizations are doing, those surveyed indicate that focusing on authenticity, representation and transparency in their day-to-day interactions will have the most impact on their sense of belonging.

Connection and representation play an important role in the factors employees feel most inspired by and which influence how they behave. More than four in five (82%) employees belonging to underrepresented groups feel they must mirror their colleagues to “fit into” the industry. Those pressures can be lessened, though, by the programs that organizations offer.

“Our industry is built on bringing people together – celebrating what makes each of us unique while enjoying the similarities that make us feel connected. This was part of the inspiration behind the second chapter of Behind the Label. We wanted to understand what people in the industry needed in order to feel like they belong and how we can best address those needs,” said Maggie Timoney, CEO of HEINEKEN USA.

While employees report being inspired by the connections they make with their managers and colleagues, they are also very focused on understanding the factors which influence their achievements in the workplace. Their responses show a strong desire for greater transparency from organizations. More than half (54%) believe there is a lack of pay equality in the workplace. What’s more – leaders share these same worries. Senior executives (68%) were more likely to share concerns about a lack of pay equality than those at the mid-level or lower.

For a copy of the report, click here.

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