Diageo Leaders Recognized in Heroes Role Model Lists for Seventh Consecutive Year 

28 Sept 2023

We’re delighted to announce that Debra Crew, Chief Executive, Louise Prashad, Chief HR Officer, Rachel Toner, Strategy and Transformation Project Lead - GB, and Karen Blackett OBE, Non-Executive Director, have been recognized in Involve’s Heroes Role Model Lists 2023.  

The annual Lists commend leaders who are championing women in business and driving change for gender diversity in the workplace. This is the seventh year in a row that Diageo’s leaders have been featured in the list, with Louise Prashad and Karen Blackett appearing for the second consecutive year.  

Debra, Louise, and Karen have featured in the Heroes 100 Women Executives List, with Rachel included in the 100 Future Leaders List. Debra, Rachel, and Karen have also ranked in the Top 20 of their respective lists, with Karen ranking number 1.  

The inclusion of Debra and Louise reflects Diageo’s ongoing commitment to championing inclusion and diversity across everything we do and progress towards our stretching ‘Society 2030: Spirit of Progress’ goals, which includes the ambition to achieve 50% representation of women in leadership roles by 2030. Louise is the Executive member responsible for the implementation of our I&D strategy, and since her appointment, Diageo has introduced a variety of new guidelines and policies to assist our ambition of creating the most supportive and inclusive environment. 

Rachel’s inclusion recognizes her role as Co-Chair of the UK Spirited Women Network, Diageo’s Employee Resource Group established to engage, retain, and develop female employees. Rachel plays a leading role in the creation of Spirited Women engagements, including a recent event with the charity Tommy’s to discuss how we can support colleagues through pregnancy loss.   

"Being included is a huge privilege, but this award is really a representation of all the year-round work that Spirited Women UK do to engage and retain female talent. A piece of advice that has always stuck with me is to hold yourself as accountable as you want to hold others. No matter how small you think a situation, you can always be a force for change."

Rachel Toner
Rachel Toner, Strategy and Transformation Project Lead - GB

Accelerating gender equality 

We are proud of the strides we have made to accelerate gender equality within our business. As of June 2023, 73% of our board is female, with representation of women in our leadership, including our Executive Committee, remaining strong at 44%.  

Over the past year, Diageo has introduced several new guidelines and employee initiatives that further our commitment to championing gender equality. This includes Pregnancy Loss Guidelines across 34 markets, as well as Fertility Support Guidelines in the UK to support employees experiencing fertility difficulties and treatment, with both complementing our existing policies and guidelines such as Parental Leave and ‘Thriving through Menopause’.  

We have been recognised by several prestigious organisations for our work to support gender equality, including ranking #1 for female representation at board level in the FTSE Women Leaders Review and ranking #2 globally and #1 in the UK in Equileap’s Gender Equality Global Report.   

But we are not complacent, and we have stretching ambitions to achieve 50% women and 45% from ethnically diverse backgrounds in leadership roles by 2030. We know there is more we can do, and we are working every day to create the most inclusive and diverse culture that ensures all our people thrive. 

You can read the full Lists here: https://heroes.involverolemodels.org/poll/2023-top-100-women-executives/