HEINEKEN UK is proudly taking part in this year’s Brighton & Hove Pride parade, as part of the company’s continuous efforts to be one of the most inclusive companies in the UK.
Over the last few years, significant focus has been put on the company’s DE&I agenda, from both a global and local UK perspective. Much of this work has been done for colleagues to make sure that everyone feels they can be their true selves when they come to work, alongside the importance of allyship.
This has included establishing five colleague networks over the last four years covering LGBTQIA+, Race and Ethnicity, Gender, Enable which focuses on disability in the workplace, and Age Inclusion – all working together to raise awareness, educate, break down barriers and ensure a safe space for people to ask questions and learn more.
In addition, all people managers are trained in inclusive leadership, global targets on diversity have been put in place, and all relevant company policies have been updated to reflect DE&I.
Externally, the company’s brands, which include Strongbow, Heineken®, Inch’s and Birra Moretti are increasing visibility of DE&I in their external communications, thanks to the HEINEKEN Collective - a community of colleagues dedicated to build a more inclusive, sustainable marketing ecosystem across media and creative industries in partnership with the company’s media agency, Dentsu.
The HEINEKEN Collective has already led to a marketing collaboration between Strongbow and Purple Goat, a specialist disability agency; a media partnership with PinkNews; and neuro-diverse focused out-of-home advertising for brands including Inch’s cider.
Marta Martins Pinto, People Director for HEINEKEN UK says: “Taking part in the Brighton & Hove Pride parade is not something to be taken lightly, which is why it’s only now that we believe it’s the right time. It’s all too easy for organisations to add a Progress flag to their logo – the important part is that action has actually happened, internally and externally. We must walk the walk, before we talk the talk.
“For the past few years, we’ve put significant focus on our role as an inclusive company and to take part in Brighton Pride is a huge milestone, and one that our people are rightly proud of. It recognises what we’ve achieved so far, but also recognises there is still much work to be done, and therefore it’s a statement of our commitment to continue to take action and make change.”
Specifically on LGBTQIA+, HEINEKEN UK has in place the HEINEKEN Open and Proud (HOP) network, which provides a safe space for colleagues to ask questions or gain advice without judgement. The team have held Pride events at the Edinburgh and London offices, and also hosts a successful video series called ‘Looking for a Straight Answer’ which provides insight into issues affecting LGBTQIA+ people.
HEINEKEN UK has also recently teamed up with the pub operator, Stonegate, to carry out research looking specifically at how pubs and bars can work to be even more inclusive. The partnership culminated in an event for nearly 200 people ranging from licensees, operators and senior industry representatives.