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Empowering women throughout our supply chain and beyond

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Amanda Smith, Diageo’s Sustainability Programme Manager, reflects on Diageo’s activities to #PressforProgress on women’s empowerment within our communities.

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Diageo has a proud history in women’s empowerment. We strive to empower women throughout our value chain to play an equal role in the economy and society - from the small holder farmers who grow the crops that make our products, to the women who serve our brands to consumers all over the world. To date, Diageo has empowered more than 300,000 women and reached more than 1.7 million people indirectly by providing equal access to the skills and resources they need to build a better future for themselves.


The opportunity now, is to take our efforts to scale. Whether that is through collaboration within Diageo to build women’s empowerment throughout our global value chain – from grain to glass - or with external partners to collaborate across sectors, across commodities, or across continents. In order to #PressforProgress, we have to push beyond our traditional boundaries.


And we are doing just that. In partnership CARE International and Business Action for Women we have identified barriers to women’s empowerment within Diageo’s wider global value chain, and are working together to overcome them.

Here are a handful of examples:

  • In Ethiopia we are working with government, co-operatives and NGOs to address barriers to women’s empowerment in smallholder farming. This includes representation at co-operatives and unions, awareness of land rights and entitlement, access to finance and training, and tackling social and cultural norms that influence the division of labour by gender.

 

  • In South East Asia we are economically empowering women by providing them with the skills to find work in the hospitality sector, as well as working with bar owners to ensure they are providing a safe and dignified workplace for women.

 

  • In India, we are supporting women in rural villages by providing training and support to set up micro enterprises to produce low cost sanitary napkins. The group now markets to more than 20 villages, generating income and improving sanitation for more than 5,000 women.

We are also partnering with our brand teams to reach millions of consumers with messages about female empowerment. This International Women’s Day Smirnoff are partnering with Spotify to promote female DJs – equalising the music scene.


Gender equality has come a long way, but there is still a long way to go. And Diageo is committed to playing its part in the #PressforProgress.