Meet the exceptional women behind Bacardi’s Women In Leadership program

Bacardi Women’s Leadership Program: As in many parts of the world, the alcoholic beverage industry in India has traditionally been male-dominated. For years, men have outnumbered women in various roles within this industry. The rhetoric, however, is changing with organizations like Bacardi making conscious and concerted efforts to encourage more women to bring their skills and expertise to the industry and empower them as leaders within the industry. ‘organization. Through initiatives such as their Women in Leadership (WIL) program, Bacardi challenges stereotypes and welcomes a new era of thinking within the industry.

WIL was launched in 2018 with the goal of providing a platform for the women of Bacardi to recognize and celebrate their growth opportunities and help them navigate their professional journey. The program aims to raise awareness of a mixed workforce where everyone has a say and to create an inclusive culture. “For the good health of any organization, there is a need for balance and to have different points of view. The same goes for us, ”says Anmol Gill, Head of Customer Marketing, who was among the first female employees to be recruited by Bacardi in India. The women behind the WIL program have worked tirelessly to create programs that foster growth and recognition, and its impact has given them reason to celebrate.

Lay the foundation

The core team of the WIL Committee, which includes Anmol Gill, Head of Customer Marketing; Ayaesha Gooptu, Innovation Manager, AMEA; Reshma Kajal Bara, HR business partner – Commercial; and Radhika Maheshwari, CFO, set out to create an ecosystem where women can thrive and be successful.

“We wanted to change negative thinking about women working in the alcohol industry, both within the company and across the industry. To support and encourage Primas (Spanish for cousins ​​and the way Bacardi employees refer to each other), we have created a host of women-friendly programs and initiatives, ”says Ayaesha. Through WIL, they launched formal mentoring and networking programs and introduced skills building initiatives and individual development plans for Primas across the organization.


Suggested Reading: Here’s Why India Needs More Women In Leadership Roles


To increase the gender diversity ratio, there has also been a dedicated commitment to assess male and female candidates for roles in all functions, including finance and sales. In order to create a safe and supportive working environment, Bacardi also offers childcare services and safe transportation options for Primas. In addition, the company has taken steps to to raise awareness male employees and work to break down the unconscious biases present in the industry.

A toast to success

Since its inception, the WIL program has helped Primas across the roles make bolder career strides and realize their own potential. According to Ayaesha, this program has given primas in the organization the support of exceptional mentors to guide their career paths. It also gave them the opportunity to participate in leadership discussions. Reshma says, “I am involved in recruiting diverse candidates for the sales function which can be a challenge due to limited talent. You have to look at different approaches and at the same time face up to common stereotypes. The mentoring program has helped me to introspect and see it differently while leading and executing some of the initiatives.

Members of the core team are excited to see how the program inspired the new Primas to break stereotypes by pursuing a career in the alcohol industry. “Today we have more women at Bacardi than ever before and in areas where female representation is generally low, such as supply chain, business advocacy and general sales,” says Anmol.

Bacardi’s WIL program is an important step towards increasing diversity and educating more decision makers in the alco-bev industry. Radhika believes the industry will benefit tremendously from the participation of more women and is optimistic about the progress. Recognizing that change rarely comes overnight, Radhika says, “A shift in perception will take some time. It will be a gradual change in the way people perceive this industry. Programs such as Women in Leadership will take the industry one step further towards eliminating age-old ideas and demonstrating the true potential of a diverse and inclusive workforce.

The article was published in conjunction with Bacardi’s Women in Leadership program to show how women leaders are creating a new narrative in the alco-bev industry.


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Kevin E. Boling