UK – Diageo, a leading multinational alcoholic beverage company, has cofounded a diversity and inclusion initiative aimed at extending the gains achieved in its business to the rest of the global spirit industry.

Other cofounders are  Dia Simms and  Erin Harris, two respectable American business executives that played a leading role in in elevating Combs’ wine and spirits brands, such as CÎROC Ultra-Premium Vodka.

The two are now partial owners of Saint Liberty Whiskey and are the founders of spirits advisory and investment company, Hands.

Dubbed Pronghorn, the initiative is modelled as a standalone business with aims to expand diversity, equity and inclusion across the alcohol industry.

The ten-year program largely funded by Diageo will identify and nurture new brands and nourish emerging businesses through capital investment.

Its focus will be on cultivating the next generation of diverse founders, executive leads and entrepreneurs, with the aim of driving long-lasting change across the total industry ecosystem.

“Diversifying the industry accelerates innovation and competitiveness, and our strategic approach to recruit, retain and advance the black community and communities of colour within the industry alongside Diageo North America couldn’t be more necessary and timely,” said Pronghorn co-founder, Erin Harris.

“We understand first-hand the importance of being motivated and the critical need for ownership and participation at every level of the category.”

The initial phase of the economic impact initiative will focus on addressing the lack of equitable representation among the black community in the spirits industry by stimulating entrepreneurship, recruitment and retention.

The initiative aligns with Diageo’s ten-year action plan “Society 2030: Spirit of Progress” – which includes a commitment to increase the representation of leaders from ethnically diverse backgrounds to 45%.

Diageo North America is a leader in the Diageo group when it comes to diversity and Inclusion.

Early this year, the division received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2021 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation.

Diageo was also named to the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEi), which distinguishes companies committed to transparency in gender reporting and advancing women’s equality.

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