AB InBev is taking action within our company, with our brands and across our value chain to be a more diverse and inclusive company, where everyone feels comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work. As the leading global brewer, we also have an important role in brewing change in the industry to better reflect the diverse perspectives of the millions of consumers who enjoy our products. There's more to be done, and we are committed to being transparent about our progress and to hold ourselves accountable. Together we can create a better, more equal world for all, and we're proud to share with you here perspectives from our colleagues who are leading the way.
Cassie Vincent (they/them), Talent Associate for ZX Ventures in New York, says as a queer person, they know how important it is to have colleagues and a work environment that accepts and respects someone's identity. They predict a major shift could happen if more people took on personal responsibility for creating an inclusive workplace, starting by “setting measurable goals to learn more about perspectives different than your own.”
Why is diversity and inclusion important for the beer industry?
Simply put, it's not only the ethical thing to do, it's necessary for the beer industry to survive. Our consumers are not only more diverse than ever before, but they are also (rightfully) taking a more critical eye to the products they consume and enjoy. To authentically connect with consumers, we need our teams to reflect their diversity of thought and experiences. Consumers are increasingly more inclined to research how brands align with their personal beliefs. They know where they spend their money can make an impact on the world, and they are holding companies accountable.
How are you brewing change?
Knowing that students pursuing secondary education in the US can have restricted opportunities due to socioeconomic limitations (which are largely influenced by historic systems of oppression), I launched a nationwide student recruiting campaign specifically designed bring forward top tier talent from all over the country, not only from Ivy League schools.
As the head of our LGBTQIA+ employee resource group, I strive to cultivate a vibrant, proud community of LGBTQIA+ colleagues where we candidly share our experiences and discuss how to continue to advance our company culture. We host company-wide educational events, routine discussion sessions to give space for people to share their stories of being LGBTQIA+ within our company, and collaborate with the Global D&I team on future programming and policies to support LGBTQIA+ employees.
What can people do to help?
Consider the level of psychological safety needed for someone of a different background to share their experiences with you. In other words, ask yourself if this is an environment that's free from potential psychological harm such as ridicule and guilt? What steps can you take to create such an environment?
And vice versa; what are your needs to feel comfortable sharing your authentic self at work? If you believe your needs are not being met, what steps can the company take to address those gaps? Remember that just like any other aspect of personal development, this will be an ongoing conversation. The work you put into fostering inclusive environments and increasing the team's diversity never truly ends.