The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) announced that it has formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee chaired by Dr. Atira Charles, Head of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity at Moët Hennessy North America. Victoria Russell, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Beam Suntory, will serve as vice chair.
The DEI Committee will identify and define both immediate and long-term actions that DISCUS member companies will lead as the industry continues to elevate and enhance efforts to build more diverse, equitable, and inclusive opportunities and career paths, both now, and for the next generation of spirits industry professionals.
“The establishment of this committee is key to the future of our industry. Our industry must reflect the communities and consumers we serve, while also being innovative and strategic in the ways in which we show up within those communities,” said Dr. Charles. “It is an honor to serve as the inaugural chair of this very important committee within DISCUS. I look forward to bringing my years of expertise to this role, and I will lead in a collaborative way with the other committee members. We are stronger together and impacting this industry will take all hands. We must all lead with passion, purpose, commitment, and accountability to move the needle on this important work.”
Russell added, “I’m proud to help lead this committee as DISCUS members partner to catalyze sustainable change, driving awareness and action, to increase inclusivity, retention, and career paths, making our industry a destination of choice for diverse talent.”
To date, DISCUS has held two DEI Roundtables with member companies to determine the best path forward. In addition to the formation of a DEI Committee, DISCUS will further expand inclusion and diversity education into programming including more diverse voices on the Spirited Advocate Podcast, and requiring a DEI course as part of the DISCUS Academy curriculum.