By Mike McGrew, EVP & Chief Communications, CSR and Diversity Officer
We have bold ambitions as a company – to generate industry-leading total shareholder returns over the long-term – to be bold, courageous brand builders committed to elevating human connections and communities – and to be a company that, in all respects, is truly worth reaching for.
To accomplish our goals, we must cultivate a best-in-class workforce that reflects the diversity of thought and composition embodied by our universe of consumers and the communities where we live and work. As society continues to evolve becoming increasingly diverse, we must work to ensure that diversity is reflected in our decision-making at all levels throughout our company. And we must create a culture that fully embraces diversity, where all employees feel equally valued and supported, and where diverse talent can truly thrive. Independent studies show a strengthening correlation between the level of diversity at large companies around the globe and their likelihood of driving financial outperformance, reinforcing the premise that enhancing diversity is not only the right thing to do, it’s also good business.
Over the past several years, we’ve been on a journey to do just that… and we’ve made good progress. For example, we established the Chief Diversity Officer role and a team solely dedicated to working with leaders across our business to advance the ball from a diversity, equity and inclusion standpoint. We established nine distinct business resource groups designed to help enhance the overall work experience for key demographics within our Constellation Brands family. We’ve also hosted a number of educational sessions and discussion forums to create greater understanding, empathy and proximity among diverse team members. Over the past several years, we’ve built a solid foundation for the evolution of our DE&I program, and you can read more about our actions in our Company Profile. But while we’ve made progress in some areas, we fully realize there is much more work to be done.
It is in this spirit that we’ve evolved our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy to focus on three core areas:
- Enhancing Diverse Representation – We’ve set a goal to enhance diverse representation at Constellation Brands reflective of our universe of consumers and communities by 50% within our U.S. salaried population by the end of calendar year 2025. This includes working to establish a global framework for DE&I to ensure we stay competitive and relevant in an ever-changing global marketplace and labor force.
- Building an Inclusive Culture – We’re working to foster a workplace that fully harnesses the benefits of diversity and ensures an equitable employee experience is provided for underrepresented groups.
- Enhancing Social Equity – We’re actively working to do our part to help enhance social equity and access to opportunity within our industry and surrounding communities.
To help spearhead this effort, we’ve strengthened our team’s capabilities with the added leadership of Carlos Butler-Vale who has joined Constellation Brands as our new Vice President – Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Carlos is a business-minded leader who brings substantial DE&I experience, perspective and leadership capabilities that will add tremendous value as we work collectively across our business to achieve our ultimate goals.
We’ve also taken a number of additional steps forward en route to our ultimate goals, including:
- Regularly reporting progress against our DE&I initiatives to our Board of Directors
- Partnering with our Talent Acquisition, Talent Development and HR Information Systems teams to enhance the pipeline of diverse talent coming into and being promoted within our company, and to track our progress along this journey
- Instituting a Supplier Diversity Program designed to increase business opportunities and create partnerships with diverse suppliers across our supply chain
- Establishing a partnership with the Equal Justice Initiative, including a contribution of $1 million over 5 years to support their mission related to criminal justice reform and education
- Committing to invest $100 million in female-founded / female-led and another $100 million in minority-founded / minority-led start-ups in the beverage alcohol space and adjacent industries
We have a tremendous opportunity to make meaningful progress in the coming years that can create sustainable competitive advantage for our company in an increasingly diversifying landscape, while creating greater social equity within our industry and communities. I look forward to working with Carlos, our Executive Team, and fellow team members across our business to make this happen.