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Scotch whisky industry launches Diversity and Inclusivity Charter

Published:  28 September, 2020

The Scotch Whisky industry is this week launching its Diversity and Inclusivity Charter in a series of events led by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

The charter, developed by the SWA and its members, underscores the industry’s commitment to improving equal opportunities across the sector and ensuring the industry embraces diversity in all its forms across its global workforce.  

It sets a series of minimum benchmarks for all SWA member companies to meet and sets a clear path for companies – large and small – to work together to ensure that the Charter commitments are fulfilled.

With the launch, the Scotch whisky industry was doubling down on its commitment to “actively welcome people from all backgrounds to work in our companies”, said Karen Betts, CEO of the SWA.  

“Scotch Whisky is hugely diverse in itself, with our vast range of whiskies coming from all shapes and sizes of distilleries across the four corners of Scotland. 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,” she said. 

The goal was to ensure that the industry’s workforce is as “diverse as our whiskies and the people who enjoy them”, she added.

“The Charter is just the start of the conversation. 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.”

The SWA said that work is underway to analyse current representation in the industry, to establish baselines and measure progress as the Charter is implemented

The SWA has 75 member companies, whose global workforce represents 97% of the industry.