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Guinness empowers female bartenders, advocates inclusivity for women empowerment

By Tobi Awodipe
25 June 2022   |   3:24 am
As part of its diversity and inclusivity strategy for empowering the underrepresented in Nigeria especially women, female bartenders were recently empowered in the pilot edition of the Diageo Bar Academy (DBA) programme in Lagos.

Human Resources Director, Ayodeji Ajibola; (standing left) Corporate Relations Director, Rotimi Odusola; Chair, Guinness Nigeria Spirited Women’s Network and International Premium Spirits, Reserve and Modern Trade (IRM) Director, Viola Graham-Douglas and Marketing and Innovations Director, Mark Mugisha; all of Guinness Nigeria with four (sitting) of the nine certified female bartenders of the DBA Diversity and Inclusion programme during the graduation ceremony in Lagos.

As part of its diversity and inclusivity strategy for empowering the underrepresented in Nigeria especially women, female bartenders were recently empowered in the pilot edition of the Diageo Bar Academy (DBA) programme in Lagos. The DBA programme is a scholarship that aims to provide world-class bartending training to both men and women, to increase the number of female bartenders in the business.

Chair of the Guinness Nigeria Spirited Women’s Network and Director of International Premium Spirits, Reserve and Modern Trade (IRM), Viola Graham-Douglas, she said during the graduation ceremony at Guinness Headquarters that this edition was specifically designed for women as a DBA diversity and inclusion programme to provide more females with viable career opportunities in bartending and the hospitality sector in general. “We are committed to ensuring that our diversity and inclusion programme gives opportunities to all our stakeholders across our value chain. We want everyone to feel included, both inside and outside of our company. We believe that our company will be stronger if our activities reflect the diversity of our customers, communities, and individuals who are bonded by our iconic products.”

“It is important to us; a part of who we are and what we do. Everywhere we go, we create the most inclusive and diverse culture, shaping market leading policies because it is part of our purpose of celebrating life every day, everywhere”.

In selecting the beneficiaries, Graham-Douglas explained that they went through a flexible selection process with a focus on key characteristics such as aptitude, enthusiasm for the trade and commitment to work in the craft after completing the programme working in hotels, restaurants, cafés, clubs, bars or other related outlets in the industry”.

Guinness Nigeria’s Marketing and Innovations Director, Mark Mugisha, stated that they are more concerned with the impact of their many corporate social responsibility projects on Nigerians than with generating a profit. He urged all the beneficiaries to be diligent in using the skills they had learned to improve their work and, in the long term, their livelihood. “In the long run, the DBA is crucial to our diversity and inclusion mission.  We promise that this programme will continue beyond this inaugural edition as we are already harnessing talents for the next level. We are confident that these pilot participants will impress and fully utilize the skills gained from this training in their career,” Mugisha said.

The programme is expected to transit into a DBA train-the-trainer programme; a thirty-day duration course in which the participants will pass on what they have learned to others. The completion of the training also comes with a 3-month internship with any of Guinness Nigeria’s trade partners.