Celebrating International Day of People with Disabilities

Feature

montage of twelve Diageo sites across the world lighting up in purple

At Diageo, creating the most inclusive and diverse culture is core to our Performance Ambition and rooted deeply in our purpose. Today, we are marking International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD) across our business.

This is a day to celebrate some of our work around the world that supports people with disabilities, as well as a chance to come together to better understand what else we can be doing to create opportunities for all.

Our We Are All Able employee group is at the heart of building understanding and awareness across Diageo of what it means to have a disability and championing action to support the development and employment of those with a disability, whether visible or otherwise.

As well as listening to and learning from our colleagues, we recognise the value in partnering with external experts and voices for the disability community. We are proud to be working with Disability:IN, a leading non-profit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide, to help shape our future work.

“On International Day of People with Disabilities, we are proud to be showing our support and allyship to the millions of people who are living with a disability across the world. The conversation does not stop after today and we will continue to learn from those around us to foster a culture of accessibility, where everybody can thrive.”

Caroline Rhodes

Global Inclusion and Diversity Director at Diageo

As the United Nations calls for this year’s celebrations to focus on the challenges, barriers and opportunities for people with disabilities in the context of a global pandemic, we take a look at some of the recent ways we have been supporting our employees, partners and the communities in which we operate:

  • In Kenya, our partnership with Sightsavers has seen us work with more than 100 smallholder farmers with disabilities in the production of our Senator Keg beer. Our Kenyan business first teamed up with Sightsavers at the start of the pandemic and now in its second year, the programme has resulted in the harvesting of more than two tonnes of white sorghum across our supply chain. 

Find out more about our work to support our employees and the wider East African community here.

  • In India, our supply chain business has been working with local NGOs to pilot a recruitment programme for people with orthopedic disabilities and created a new onboarding process tailored to individual needs. Through a partnership with Youth4Jobs the team have also introduced changes to our manufacturing sites and in the last 12 months, more than 40 people with disabilities have joined the business.
  •  In Mexico, where 16.5 per cent of the population has a disability, we partner with Yo También, the main content platform in the country for disability, inclusion and accessibility. As well as providing our teams with guidance and best practice for creating an inclusive culture for those with disabilities, we look to Yo También to raise awareness and understanding amongst our employees.
  •  In Scotland, the Johnnie Walker Princes Street team worked hand in hand with disability charity, Euan's Guide, to ensure the multi-million-pound new visitor attraction was accessible for everyone. By partnering with them, disability tools, features and services were incorporated into the building’s design by architects from day one and the multi-sensory visitor experience was created with visible and invisible disabilities in mind.

You can read more about Johnnie Walker Princes Street partnership with Euan’s Guide here.  

Staying in Scotland, our award-winning We Are All Able programme for registered disabled workers has just recruited its third group of interns at our Shieldhall packaging site.

The six-month internships are tailored to each employee’s physical, mental and workplace needs and Cameron Tyledsely, 18 years old, joined the programme last month. He explains: “From my very first day I have felt like part of the team and I’ve surprised myself with what I have been able to achieve in just a couple of weeks. A big part of this is down to the people I’m working with, they’ve taken the time to get to know me, understand my disability and supported me as I learn the ropes. Before starting at Shieldhall, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but now I feel I have a purpose and I’m looking forward to the months ahead.”

ntern Cameron Tyledsely standing in front of whisky barrels at Diageo’s Shieldhall site in Scotland

To show our allyship to people with disabilities and our commitment to doing all that we can to support current and future employees, our partners, and communities, Diageo sites across the world are lighting up purple on today’s International Day of People with Disabilities.