Diageo gender pay

Diageo is ramping up its campaign for gender equality with a push to promote equal opportunities for women in advertising.

The spirits giant has signed up to Free The Bid, a non-profit drive that asks agencies to include a woman director on every creative bid, production companies to sign more woman directors, and marketers to seek one woman’s bid on each of their commercial productions. The Johnnie Walker owner said it hoped the move would “drive greater diversity within the bidding process as well as in the industry more broadly”.

Advertisers had “the power to normalise gender equality by what we choose to show in our ads, and who we choose to produce them” said Diageo chief marketing officer Syl Saller. “The advertising industry is moving in the right direction to achieving greater gender equality but it must move quicker.”

Free The Bid was “thrilled about the incredible opportunities that will open up for women directors globally” said the campaign’s founder Alma Har’el. “Diageo and their creative agencies are about to discover the most untapped pool of creative talent in the ad industry: women directors.”

In November, Diageo was named as one of the top ranking FTSE 100 companies for gender parity in the boardroom, with four female directors and one female executive director - CFO Kathryn Mikells - making its board 44.4% female.

The company went on to announce plans to become “the best employer for women in the UK”, and has released a detailed report into the gender pay gap and gender parity across its businesses. It intended to introduce an internal job-sharing portal to increase the number of flexible jobs that can be shared between employees who can’t work full time, and roll out an Unconscious Bias in Talent Assessment training programme for its hiring managers in Scotland, where it detected a higher gap between male and female employees’ pay. Men in Diageo’s Scottish business had a median pay 16% higher than women at the time of the report’s release.

Diageo will achieve full gender parity in the boardroom in April, when ex-Xerox Corporation chair Ursula Burns takes up a non-executive directorship. Saller and HR director Mairéad Nayager have previously been recognised by Cranfield University on its list of 100 Women to Watch across notable industries and FTSE 350 companies.