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My Advice to Allies

By Rory McLellan, Logistic Director BU West (UK, Ireland, Spain & Canary Islands) at AB InBev

My initial interest in D&I started when I was the People Director for the UK at Budweiser Brewing Group. Since then, I started to act as the sponsor for one of our business resource groups that support various elements on D&I, in my case LGBTQ+.


The group is made up of some highly passionate and talented people from all over the business. As a group, we want to ensure that our workplace is inclusive for anyone from the LGBTQ+ community and allows everyone to be the person they want to be in the workplace. I know first-hand that when people bring their full selves to work, they are not only much happier but more efficient engaged and creative too.


My role in the group is to act as a senior voice to help ensure the group can achieve its aims. Whilst in this role, I also became a mentor to 2 mentees from the LGBTQ+ community from other companies via the Involve OUTstanding initiative. This has been a fantastic experience where I have been able to benefit from reverse mentoring whilst helping people navigate their career and work decisions. This reverse mentoring element opened my eyes to the hurt and discrimination that LGBTQ+ people can still face on a daily basis, as such I was thrilled to be able to help lead the recent internal event as part of Trans Gender Day of remembrance using advice from my mentee in the session and educating a broader audience.


Being a good ally and member of the LGBTQ+ business resource group comes in many forms, from driving education, communication of key issues and also being available, should anyone want to talk to someone outside of their usual circle. It recognizes that it is not just about Pride, for example, but impacting the business daily – sometimes small step by steps.  


A very basic recent example was helping my team understand why it is important to share your pronouns, and as such, the team have now included their pronouns on their email signatures and their Zoom IDs. Another example is ensuring the business prioritizes financial resources to work with related organizations such as Stonewall and involve – something Budweiser Brewing Group has embraced wholeheartedly.


My advice to other allies would be:

  1. Take time to educate yourself. Google is your friend, but also ask questions, where and to whom it is appropriate to do so
  2. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or fear saying something stupid – not taking any action is the biggest mistake you can make
  3. Most importantly - Get involved!


Thanks to everyone who is an ally across their industry or in their personal life and I hope you all have an amazing festive period and happy New Year!

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