Diageo – an Early and Active Supporter of the LGBTQIA+ Community


Inclusion and diversity has always been a core value at Diageo. For our business to thrive, we depend on diverse talent, as well as a diverse consumer base. A wide range of viewpoints, experiences, skills and capabilities is critically important for our growth. It is not only the right way to work, it is good for business. Diageo does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and has been an early and active supporter of equal rights of all people including the LGBTQIA+ community.

Pride celebration

In March 2019, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) named Diageo North America as a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality” for the eleventh consecutive year. During this time, Diageo has consistently earned a perfect score of 100% on their Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQIA+ workplace equality.

“This annual honor is a source of tremendous pride for our employees and our consumers, our partnership with the Human Rights Campaign and their national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices critically important to this community is a living example of living our corporate Purpose. We believe in celebrating life every day, everywhere … and for everyone.”

Deirdre Mahlan
Deirdre Mahlan

President, Diageo, North America

In 2018, Diageo, through its iconic “Love Wins” campaign with the Smirnoff vodka brand, announced a commitment to donate nearly $1.5 million to the HRC by 2021. Diageo also was one of 76 major companies representing 1.1 million workers to sign the HRC’s amicus brief supporting equality and LGBTQIA+ in the workplace.

Diageo has supported the LGBTQIA+ community through a number of non-profit organizations including Lambda Legal, Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Out & Equal, HRC, PRIDE NYC, PRIDE Atlanta, PRIDE Chicago, PRIDE Houston and the overarching organization that took in and managed donations in support of One Orlando, in the wake of the tragedy at PULSE, the Orlando gay and lesbian nightclub.

Through industry-leading employee policies and practices, Diageo has successfully implemented, and actively supports, non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, and positive public engagement with the LGBTQIA+ community.

Diageo recently announced a very progressive global parental leave policy providing 26 weeks of paid parental leave, applicable to all employees who are new parents, regardless of gender, and whether they become a parent via birth, surrogacy, adoption or foster care. With policies and practices such as these, Diageo hopes to challenge the status quo and help drive societal change.

Diageo North America has developed and maintains nine active business resource groups (BRGs) that are all inclusive and are a valuable resource to the company for recruitment, retention, employee engagement, innovation and community partnerships. They represent ethnicity, gender, LGBTQIA+, Sustainability and Career Development. Diageo’s Rainbow Network, the BRG for LGBTQIA+ employees and allies, was one of the first BRGs at the company and remains one of its most active.

Diageo North America enjoys a growing list of honors earned for its commitment to diversity and inclusion, which include:

  • 2019 – Diageo named in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index
  • 2019 – National Association of Female Executives recognized Diageo North America as a Top Company for Executive Women
  • 2019 – Diageo North America, in partnership with the Paradigm for Parity® coalition, announced its commitment to achieving gender parity
  • 2018 – Diageo ranked fourth in the Thomson Reuters Diversity & Inclusion Index
  • 2018 – Diageo received the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Award
  • 2018 – Diageo was the first beverage alcohol company to sign the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion
  • 2018 – Diageo North America was named to Diversity MBA's "50 Out Front for Diversity Leadership
  • 2018 – A division of Working Mother Media, Diversity Best Practices recognized Diageo North America as part of their second annual inclusion index
  • 2018 – Diageo named one of Working Mother Magazine's "100 Best Companies" for the tenth consecutive year

At our core is an ethos that relies and thrives on a diverse and inclusive culture – one that has consistently set us apart from our competitors. One that has helped us celebrate not only our people but our consumers, who today expect more than simply outstanding products and brands. Diageo's purpose is simple - to celebrate life every day, everywhere. This means celebrating the diversity and differences that make us great.