News Studio

June 22, 2021

Celebrating Pride Month 2021 with Beam Suntory's LGBTQIA+ Employee Impact Group, PRISM

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Each year, June is recognized and celebrated as Pride Month throughout the US to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots and advocate for equal justice and equal opportunity for LGBTQIA+ Americans.

At Suntory, we are committed to creating an organization that enables employees from diverse backgrounds to carry out Yatte Minahare - the spirit of bold ambition - in their work and in their lives. We know that promoting diversity and inclusion is essential to our continued growth as a business, as well as the empowerment of our people. Across all aspects of our business, we strive to foster an inclusive workplace and continuously engage in LGBTQIA+ activities with the aim of becoming a company where every employee can be their full selves at work.

Similarly, Beam Suntory, a Suntory Group company, signed a D&I Pledge as part of its efforts to leverage the power of diversity and build a community that truly embodies an inclusive mindset. This year, Beam Suntory's LGBTQIA+ Employee Impact Group, PRISM, local teams, and allies, are recognizing Pride Month throughout June by hosting global engagement and educational programs for all employees. These programs seek to inspire conversations that support a more inclusive culture.

In the below Q&A, leaders and members of PRISM share their own Yatte Minahare stories and discuss the importance of building a truly diverse and inclusive workplace at Suntory.

Q. Why is it important to build a truly diverse workforce where people can be authentically themselves at work?

Ken Woods (Associate Brand Manager, On The Rocks; co-lead of PRISM): "

A workplace that encourages its employees to be authentically themselves creates a more collaborative workforce and stronger idea generation. Furthermore, when an organization does more than encourage, but rather celebrates its employee diversity, it allows each individual to show up and offer unique learnings and experiences, that drive dynamic strategies for the business. Celebrating diversity, especially with the support from Employee Impact Groups like PRISM, unlocks heightened employee engagement and a brighter future for both our brands and our people."

Zach Campbell (Project Manager - R&D; co-lead of PRISM):

"This is very important as a diverse workforce brings with it new diverse thoughts and actions. Having a diverse workforce is what will allow us to achieve our 2030 goals."

Q. What is your best "Yatte Minahare" story - a time where you acted boldly, tackled a challenge or turned a dream into reality?

April Elston (Technical Manager - Global R&D):

"The partnership with the Suntory Blending team to bring Legent to life. We acted swiftly to lay down the liquid and worked in close collaboration over the years to bring a unique product to market to highlight the relationship between Shinji and Fred."

Brittany Raisor (Quality Manager - Frankfort, KY):

"I would say my proudest achievement has been earning my college degree while working full time. I am a first-generation college student, and it was a long process for me, but I never gave up and eventually turned my dream into a reality."

Q. What motivates you to keep pushing our business forward every day?

Zach Campbell (Project Manager - R&D; co-lead of PRISM):

"The culture at Beam Suntory is what continues to motivate me. Being openly gay at work is something I never thought I would be able to do. However, BSI has allowed me and others to be our true, authentic selves which creates a great place to work."

Brittany Raisor (Quality Manager - Frankfort, KY):

"My motivation comes from our incredible team and the pride I have in our plant, products, and brands. Beam Suntory has the best people in the industry and our potential is limitless; it's very motivating to imagine the things we can achieve together."

Q. How are you celebrating Pride Month this year?

Ken Woods (Associate Brand Manager, On The Rocks; co-lead of PRISM):

"I am excited to share that throughout the month we (PRISM) will be hosting a series of internal events to celebrate Pride. Ranging from a panel discussion focusing on LGBTQ+ Trade Members, to exploration of Pride history within the US and even a unique educational Happy Hour, we will be elevating Beam Suntory's Pride celebration throughout the month of June. Outside of work, you will definitely find me at my favorite gay bar in West Hollywood, CA...drinking an EFFEN Vodka Soda."

April Elston (Technical Manager - Global R&D):

"At work, I am involved in creating a virtual happy hour for the North America team that highlights some education and history about Pride as well as understanding what Pride means to our peers. I will also attend other Pride events sponsored by our PRISM Employee Impact Group. In the community, we are working to have Beam Suntory sponsor an event for Civitas, the LGBTQ section of the Chamber of Commerce for the Ohio Valley. My wife, children, and I will also support local businesses in our community that have Pride events."