Building awareness about I&D and inclusive leadership capabilities


In addition to collectively meeting our global inclusion and diversity (I&D) aspirations and to effectively cascade and build awareness about I&D and inclusive leadership capabilities, we wanted to truly embrace the cultural diversity of each of the countries we operate in.

What did you want to achieve?

We decided to build and work with a global community of more than 80 local I&D ambassadors, who embrace their ambassador role by working with their leadership teams and help them understand and respond to local I&D opportunities and requirements. The I&D ambassadors also help drive I&D action plans in their local markets.

What did you do?

We built a strong I&D ambassador community through an internal hiring process. We put out a call-toaction for volunteers to apply and, after an interview process, they were selected based on their skills, competences and overall potential. We then designed common processes for all I&D ambassadors across all of our operating companies. We built an I&D toolkit specifically for our ambassadors to use with their leadership teams to assess and address I&D opportunities and requirements in their countries.

We cascaded the I&D ambassador training by region. To kick off the I&D ambassador role, we invited each country’s ambassador to a week-long programme where they were trained on key practical skills based on the common processes we had developed and the global I&D toolkit. Engagement with I&D ambassadors continued for seven months, which included six online sprints to guide andsupport them as they progressed in their role.

The global I&D ambassador community also meets bi-monthly to share their best I&D practices through sessions called ‘Share, Learn and Reapply’.

What are the results so far?

We have built, trained and are now working very closely with a global community of more than 80 local I&D ambassadors. The I&D ambassadors have worked with their leadership teams and helped them to create, in addition to our global I&D aspirations, local I&D action plans to respond to local I&D opportunities and requirements. At year-end 2019, the local I&D ambassadors had generated more than 170 I&D projects; a major success in amplifying the impact of HEINEKEN’s global I&D strategy.

What have you learned?

We have learned that our key success factors for I&D are gaining strong support from our local countries and our global and regional leadership along with ensuring our I&D ambassadors come from diverse functions – a mix of business and support functions, for example.

Another of our key success factors is that I&D ambassadors create their own coalition by gaining more support in their countries from other colleagues who are interested and want to make a change through I&D. Building a global community that connects the I&D ambassadors also proved crucial. It is a place where they can share questions, successes, failures and best practices.