At AB InBev we are powered by great people. Our ‘FutureMakers’ series tells the stories of colleagues who are always looking forward and dreaming bigger to make a meaningful impact on the world. Today we introduce you to Jackie Senner, who joined AB InBev in 2014 as a Global MBA intern and in January was named Global Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion.
What’s your take on AB InBev’s new purpose, ‘We dream big to create a future with more cheers’?
I love how it connects us in new ways while staying true to our long-standing belief in dreaming big at AB InBev. The ambition inherent in dreaming big, of taking on new challenges, and having the courage to strive to be better and achieve more has always resonated with me.
The idea of ‘more cheers’ also has so many layers of meaning; more innovation, more opportunities for more people, more reasons to celebrate, more ways to lift up our neighbors and communities. I truly believe that our new purpose can be applied to everything we do, including and especially our goals for diversity, equity and inclusion. A future with more cheers is one that everyone can celebrate and everyone can share.
There’s also a new customer- and consumer-focused 10-year strategy for the company. Is diversity, equity and inclusion a big part of that?
Absolutely - accelerating diversity, equity and inclusion is part of our strategy. There’s abundant evidence that better representation yields better performance, including a 2020 McKinsey Report that found gender diverse companies outperformed less diverse peers by 48%. We also know that diverse teams are more likely to make better, bolder decisions, radically innovate and anticipate shifts in consumer needs to be more competitive.
Most of all, when we consider our value chain and the scale of our business impact, we believe it is imperative that we reflect the diversity of our colleagues, customers, consumers and suppliers so that we can succeed and grow together.
What are the priorities for making that happen?
Our Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council, led by our CEO Michel Doukeris, brings together leaders from across the business to align and execute our priorities.
Our first priority is to create a space where everyone feels like they belong – where we can all be our true, authentic selves. A more inclusive future starts with us. It starts with strengthening our own culture of belonging. Holding space for diverse voices and experiences. Space for all our people to speak up and share ideas, to be bold and take risks, and to grow at the pace of their talent.
To do that, we’re training our teams on topics like psychological safety, unconscious bias, pronoun usage, and allyship. We launched a non-gendered Global Parental Leave policy, which is inclusive of all families. We’ve also introduced more inclusive benefits for our colleagues, such as gender affirming medical support for trans colleagues in the U.S. and name change support for colleagues in Brazil.
Our next priority is to empower people with the tools and resources they need to thrive in order to create more economic opportunity and greater shared prosperity.
What are some examples?
I’ve been especially impressed with how we’re empowering women entrepreneurs and prioritizing female financial inclusion through programs like Diverssa in Brazil and others that support and train farmers and retailers in Latin America, Africa and India.
We’re also making changes to our processes to recruit more diverse talent, amplifying partnerships with talent organizations like the Forte Foundation and Management Leadership for Tomorrow, and implementing dedicated scholarships and initiatives such as the Representa internship program from our Brazilian brewer, Ambev. The more we empower women and other underrepresented groups to participate as economic equals, and break barriers and stereotypes, the better our future will be.
And how is AB InBev working toward creating more equity?
We address that in our third priority, which focuses on identifying and eliminating systemic barriers that prevent the full participation of certain groups. As firm public commitments, we signed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion. We’ve also worked with local governments to pass national policies in support of people with disabilities in Colombia and collaborated with Pro Mujer on a gender violence helpline in Bolivia.
Could you tell us more about the idea of shared prosperity and what that means?
As the world’s leading brewer, it means creating greater opportunities for all of our stakeholders. From better serving more consumers, to supporting our farmers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, pub owners – the millions of people that we touch from ‘seed to sip’, as we like to say. We believe our company and brands can be a catalyst for good and we’re proud of our progress - including earning the top spot in social responsibility in the beverage industry on FORTUNE’s 2022 list of the most admired companies .
How are AB InBev brands helping bring about change?
Our family of 500 iconic brands speaks to hundreds of millions of people around the world – sometimes at once. We are in a strong position to amplify diverse voices, shatter ceilings and inspire future generations.
A great example is Anheuser-Busch’s long-standing partnership with the UNCF to provide educational opportunities for underrepresented groups, including the UNCF Budweiser Natalie Johnson Scholarship that focuses on advancing diversity in the brewing industry. I’m also very excited about Michelob ULTRA’s $100 million commitment to improve gender equality in sports. Stella Artois and water.org are providing safe water to millions in the developing world and Corona has long supported projects to protect the environment. And many of our brands worldwide have successful marketing campaigns aimed at changing social norms and behaviors to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.
What’s your big dream for the future?
I have a lot of them! Professionally, I look forward to spending more time in person with our teams globally and hope to continue to build a company that encourages everyone to bring their true, authentic selves to work each day so we can keep dreaming big together. A more inclusive world is one where everyone belongs and it won’t create itself. We must all act today to harness the spirit of beer itself – its optimism and inclusivity, its rootedness and reach – to drive impact and real change.
Learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion at AB InBev in our 2021 Environmental, Social Governance Report .