Ten leading Black spirits industry executives

12th November, 2020 by Nicola Carruthers

Spirits firms worldwide have pledged to increase diversity in their workplaces this year. Here, we celebrate the talents of 10 of the industry’s top Black executives.

Victoria Russell, Beam Suntory's chief diversity and inclusion officer

Victoria Russell, Beam Suntory’s chief diversity and inclusion officer

Spirits companies of all sizes have come out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement this year and vowed to reassess their efforts to create inclusive workplaces.

Earlier this year, the Black Bourbon Society launched a non-profit consultancy firm, called Diversity Distilled, to create more diversity and inclusion across the spirits industry. Its aim is to advise spirits brands on how they can create and implement diversity and inclusion policies within their corporate structures.

Drinks firms have unveiled new programmes and roles to support its Black employees, including the creation of diversity and inclusion officers. Last year, Diageo joined the Race at Work Charter, a new initiative designed to improve outcomes for Black, Asian and other ethnicities in the UK, and to provide help to tackle racial barriers in the workplace.

In addition, companies are going beyond their individual workplaces to increase diversity across the whole sector. For example, Nearest Green Distillery and Brown-Forman’s Jack Daniel’s brand jointly pledged US$5 million as part of a new initiative to boost diversity across the American whiskey industry, while Constellation Brands also plans to invest US$100m in Black and minority-owned alcohol businesses over the next 10 years as part of a new programme.

The Spirits Business reached out to a number of major spirits firms to ask them to highlight some of their top Black executives, spanning roles in marketing, communications, operations, e-commerce and logistics.

Click through to the following pages to see 10 Black executives across the spirits sector. 

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