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Empowering Women in Ontario Food & Beverage

“If you have women and diversity on your team you have a higher rate of success” said Hon. Charmaine A. Williams, Associate Minister of Women's Social and Economic Opportunity at the Empowering Women in Ontario Food & Beverage symposium yesterday and we couldn’t agree more.

Co-hosted by Diageo, LCBO, Grain Farmers of Ontario and the British Consulate-General Toronto we heard from esteemed speakers about how the industry can help in the advancement of women: having an open dialogue is key.

Hon. Lisa Thompson, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs gave an inspiring message sharing her life story growing up as a daughter of farmers.

Jodi Rumble, General Manager – Diageo, Canada, talked about the opportunities for the next generation. She spoke on Diageo’s work on continuing offering opportunities in mentorship, developing skills for people entering the industry, having more women in the supply side, and creating more initiatives such as "Women in spirits" to bring more women’s voices in Ontario.

Congratulations to Diageo for championing women in leadership positions! They recently appointed Sally Grimes as Chief Executive Officer, Diageo North America and Claudia Schubert as President & Chief Operating Officer, Diageo North America. They follow in the footsteps of Debra Crew who progressed from her North American Leadership position to become CEO of Diageo earlier this year.

Minister Williams giving advice to young women in their career journey said “start talking to women right there, join events, get involved also in politics, join Chambers!* - get in the presence of leaders!.

Another part of the discussion was the important role men need to play by being allies in this endeavour.

UK Consul General Fouzia Younis final remarks touched on the Canada-UK Free Trade agreement Women Chapter, on how our top negotiators are working on removing barriers for women and on making the top seats open to women. “Great things grow in Ontario” she said, “Greater things grow in Ontario by working together with the UK”, she added.

Special thanks to Liz Lell, Government Affairs, Public Policy and Corporate Social Responsibility Professional at Diageo and Dana Dickerson, Market Development and Sustainability Manager at Grain Farmers of Ontario; for creating this inspiring event.

*Full disclosure: she said this before the BCCTC talked to her about the chamber, so we had no influence whatsover.


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