Inspiring trailblazers kick-off first-of-its-kind women's leadership program at AB InBev

Posted: February 18, 2021
Inspiring trailblazers kick-off first-of-its-kind women's leadership program at AB InBev

After 16 years of working in beer, María Angélica Alzate Rodríguez is more confident about her career than ever.   

“The Global Women's Leadership Program has me feeling incredibly encouraged,” says María, Vice President of Strategy & Insights for AB InBev Middle Americas. “I was inspired by the deep self-awareness, the coaching and networking, and most of all by the supportive community of women this program brought together.”  

María Angélica Alzate Rodríguez

María was one of 48 leaders invited to be part of AB InBev's first-ever Global Women's Leadership Program, an eight month-long journey that began in March 2020 – just as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold globally. 

“The program was a great initiative which helped me to find time for self-awareness, self-reflection and self-improvement at a time when everything around us was looking bleak and discouraging,” says Reena Gautam, Vice President of Procurement and Sustainability for India. “It equipped me with a lot of insights, tools and action plans that I can continue to use to develop myself as a leader at AB InBev.” 

Reena Gautam

The program was developed in partnership with executive development firm Arieli & Company to enhance participants' leadership capabilities, increase their readiness for key roles and equip them with new capabilities needed to drive future growth for the company. By engaging a wide range of women leaders around the world, the program aims to bring greater representation of diverse perspectives in senior leadership, enabling AB InBev to better meet the needs of our diverse consumers and to continue growing our business. 

The program included assessments, roundtable sessions, small learning groups, one-on-one executive coaching sessions and was capped off with a two-day virtual summit attended by CEO Carlos Brito and Chief People Officer Nelson Jamel, who shared their support, insights and the need for candid feedback throughout one's career. 

The summit featured workshops and sessions on topics like complexity leadership, legacy-building and power dynamics. To top it all off, a virtual fireside chat was held with esteemed guests Janice Bryant Howroyd, Founder and CEO of ActOne Group, Ann Olivarius, Senior Partner at McAllister Olivarius, and Brita Fernandez Schmidt, Executive Director at Women for Women International - UK. In appreciation, AB InBev made a $20,000 donation in the guests' honor to Women for Women International, an organization providing support and education services to help women overcome social, economic, and cultural barriers and reach their full potential. 

Rowan Chidgey

For Rowan Chidgey, Global Brands Director - Europe, the Global Women's Leadership Program came at just the right time. 

”In a tough year, this program couldn't have been more welcomed, helping me to lead through uncertainty, motivate a team with empathy and connecting me with an incredible network of women.” 

Current participants are continuing on as an ‘alumnae community' for the program, which will welcome its second cohort of 50 more women leaders in March to further expand its reach and impact across the company. 

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