The Scotch Whisky Association commits to diversity and inclusivity

Jacopo Mazzeo

Jacopo Mazzeo

28 September 2020

The Scotch Whisky Association is launching a Diversity and Inclusivity Charter to help the Scotch whisky industry embrace equal opportunities, diversity and inclusivity

The announcement comes only days after drinks writer Becky Paskin called time on sexism in the ‘Whisky Bible’ written by Jim Murray.

The Charter outlines a series of minimum benchmarks that all 75 of the association's member companies, which represent 97% of the entire Scotch whisky industry, are expected to meet.

These include:

  • Having one member of the senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for diversity and inclusion
  • Reviewing internal practices and policies to ensure that everyone has the same opportunities
  • Improving gender diversity at all levels of the business
  • Ensuring transparency and fairness within recruitment practices, engaging more diverse and inclusive search practices to support efforts in building a diverse talent pool
  • Signing up to the DWP’s Disability Confident scheme
  • Supporting the Scotch Whisky Rainbow Network
  • Addressing websites’ accessibility to identify and overcome shortcomings

‘The Scotch whisky industry is launching our Diversity and Inclusivity Charter today, doubling down on our commitment to actively welcome people from all backgrounds to work in our companies,’ said Karen Betts, the Scotch Whisky Association's chief exec. ‘Through the Charter, we are underscoring our commitment to attract a wide range of people to work for the industry in Scotland and around the world at all levels and at all stages in their careers. Our goal is to ensure that our workforce is as diverse as our whiskies and the people who enjoy them.

‘The Charter is just the start of the conversation,’ she continued. ‘Many of our member companies are already engaging in a range of activities and programmes to improve diversity and inclusion, from flexible hours, to parental leave, mental wellbeing initiatives, and embracing new recruitment processes. What the Charter will now do is foster collaboration between our companies, so everyone can learn from each other’s experiences and ensure we can move forward step by step, positively and collectively, on this important journey.’

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