By Olivia (she/her) National Account Manager, Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, AB InBev
What does being an Ally mean to me?
I first really thought about my ally-ship and what it means to be an ally when Budweiser Brewing Group began to form a Business Resources Group in 2018 to place more focus on D&I within our business. I had always been incredibly interested in the topic of D&I from my time at university but realised I wasn’t actively doing enough as an Ally – I became a member of our LGBTQ+ Network and my passion has continued to grow alongside my learning and understanding of what it means to be an effective Ally.
The four key pillars I have been developing in and focused on as being an ally:
- Being honest with myself in recognising my unconscious prejudices and doing more to identify and challenge them.
- Pledging to continuously seek out ways to educate myself and develop my understanding.
- Actively listening to the people around me and working to create environment in which people feel comfortable sharing their experiences and understanding.
- Challenging prejudice when and wherever I encounter it.
What the team and I have been previously doing to ensure D&I in our organization:
As an LGBTQ+ Network we have achieved some amazing things over the past 2 years; from sponsoring London Pride with our ‘Fly the Flag’ campaign, educating and fueling the conversation with our colleagues during our Tap Talks series for Transgender Day of Remembrance and most recently, updating our medical health policies to ensure coverage for those who are transitioning.
What is our D&I strategy for 2021?
We haven’t stopped there, the Proud LGBTQ+ Network already have some incredible plans to kick start 2021, with a new initiative headed up by our group chair Rob Gregory and two fellow Allies Jen Kirkwood and Tiff Emmett. We will be hosting a ‘Round Table’ with our company benefit suppliers to ‘facilitate an open discussion around any specific LGBTQ+ support services, intending to create and share best practice across organizations and ultimately creating a full 360 view of what services we have available and help identify where our gaps are’.
I have no doubt that this will be just the beginning of challenging our suppliers and ourselves as Budweiser Brewing Group, on topics concerning D&I. I am incredibly proud to be an ally within our LGBTQ+ Network, as a company we have a long way to go on our D&I journey but we are a group of people who are striving for better and challenging the status quo within our organisation.