An inclusive, empowered and equitable future. A future with more cheers

Our purpose is to create a future with more cheers. To achieve this, our company must be an inclusive and diverse workplace. Here, we all feel we belong whatever our personal characteristics or social identities. Our greatest strength is our people, and we support every individual to excel.

We strive to be an inclusive workplace with equal opportunity. Everyone at AB InBev should feel comfortable, confident and respected to bring their authentic selves to work every day and to grow at the pace of their talent.​

We aim to make our company as diverse as the communities we serve. We thrive when our colleagues, including our leadership, reflect the diversity of our consumers and customers, enabling us to create solutions with our brands and services to best meet their needs.

As the world’s leading brewer we also have an opportunity to advance progress across our supply chain and help drive change in our industry.

Our DEI strategy focuses on creating a future with more cheers that is:

Inclusive: We are creating an inclusive future with more cheers – one where everyone belongs and we can all be our true, authentic selves at home, at work, or in our communities
Empowered: We are closing the opportunity gap across communities to empower more people to have access to greater economic opportunity.
Equitable: We are working to ensure equity for all.


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Growing up, my parents never made me feel that being a woman would keep me back from my dreams. When I think about my career at AB InBev, we also passionately encourage our colleagues to strive for what they want to achieve and we believe that this is key to drive ownership and engagement. I truly believe that nobody should be restricted in their career based on their social characteristics.”

Minouk Schmitz, Vice President of People, Europe

2021 AB InBev Zone Europe Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Overview

At AB InBev, we want everyone at our company to feel comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work every single day. This means fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace where each individual feels they belong, regardless of their personal characteristics or social identities. Our greatest strength is our people, and we support the opportunity for every individual to excel.

Achieving this requires transparency, open conversation and reflection. It is in this spirit that we are launching first Zone Europe DEI Overview. Here we explore the four key focuses of our Diversity & Inclusion Council to ensure that everyone can succeed, whatever our personal characteristics or social identities: People, Marketplace, Value Chain and Communities.

We are committed to a work environment that is both diverse and inclusive, where all colleagues feel comfortable, confident and respected to bring their authentic selves to work every day and to grow at the pace of their talent.

To help us affect real change across our European business, we are tracking our progress across five Diversity, Equity & Inclusion topics: Gender Representation; Underrepresented Groups; Awareness & Behaviour Change; Engagement and Accountability.

Gender Representation

Although brewing and manufacturing are traditionally male-dominated sectors, in the past six years we have put an increased focus on being an attractive and inclusive employer to more diverse groups and are making good progress. From 2016 to 2021, both the proportion of women in our European business on an executive level and the proportion of female partners (senior leadership) have increased – the latter has more than tripled – showcasing the talent of female colleagues developing within our operations.

Underrepresented Groups

To help identify and bridge barriers of entry across different groups that make up the ethnically diverse population, we are implementing enhanced recruitment methods and working with external partners to help underrepresented people gain valuable business knowledge and build skills, work experience and confidence, such as Stand Out, an organisation empowering people to build brighter futures after prison; One Million Mentors, a community-based mentoring system for young adults; MyGwork, a global recruitment and networking hub for LGBTQ+ professionals, graduates, allies, and organisations.

Awareness & Behaviour Change

Our ambition is for our entire executive population to be trained on what we consider DEI essentials. This goes far beyond Unconscious Bias training, which almost our entire hiring manager population has undergone, and instead concentrates on more holistic skills such as Psychological Safety and Inclusive Leadership. In 2021 we have trained nearly a third of our line managers (roughly 400 colleagues across Europe) in Psychological Safety training. To further our efforts, we are partnering with external experts such as Deloitte and Arieli & Company.


As we work towards a truly inclusive, equitable and diverse workplace, our most important stakeholder group is our colleagues—which is why we aim to maintain a high DEI Engagement Index score. Our 2021 DEI Engagement Index score was 85%, meaning that 85% of our employees who took part in our Engagement Survey agreed that we are advancing in building a diverse and inclusive organisation.


As a company of owners, we are all responsible for fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace where everyone feels they belong. As we look to increase accountability throughout our business, we will track progress in the people we attract, hire, promote, retain and also lose, as well as how our people feel we are doing through our Engagement Survey. We want to ensure DEI is fully integrated in our business strategy and have established a D&I Council, which includes our senior leaders across all functions, to realise this vision.

We want people to grow at the pace of their talent and we support the opportunity for every individual to excel. Our compensation framework is based on meritocracy and a sense of ownership with a view to aligning the interests of employees with the interests of shareholders. We work to continue fostering an inclusive workplace so that everyone can succeed in our business.

Lara Laila Gärber

“I believe we all do better when we can bring our true and authentic selves to work. A multitude of voices, experiences and opinions lets us all challenge each other – making for stronger teams and more innovative output.”

Lara Laila Gärber, Diversity & Inclusion Manager Europe, DEI PMO
AB InBeb D&I
AB InBev BrewingTogether

Our Diversity & Inclusion Council

As a company with a large footprint beyond our own offices and breweries, we have a responsibility to spark progress both inside and outside of our business. That’s why we have initiated a Diversity & Inclusion Council for our European business, which is dedicated to collaborating on high impact decisions and championing DEI at the highest levels of our organisation. It comprises four areas, which were chosen because they link to the functional areas of our business, where we believe we can have the most impact:

  • People and Workplace, which creates initiatives and partnerships that benefit our various employee groups and foster inclusion
  • Value Chain, which works to ensure that our DEI efforts are reflected throughout our supplier and partner network
  • Marketplace, which aims to make our brands agents of change in driving DEI efforts
  • Communities, which engages our communities on DEI topics and fosters external partnerships in these areas
People & Workplace

The People and Workplace pillar strives to ensure that our company reflects the diversity of our consumers and that our workplace allows our employees to thrive. We have implemented several initiatives including an anti-harassment policy, diverse hiring slates, training and mentorship programs, and partnerships with feeder institutions.

Following extensive benchmarking and listening sessions with employees as well as their managers, we’ve enhanced our parental leave policy across 20 countries in Europe to further support returning parents. All primary caregivers have seen paid leave increase from 16 to 26 weeks with paid leave for secondary caregivers increasing from 2 to 4 weeks. We have also introduced an enhanced ‘Return to Work’ program to help returning parents stay connected and offer more flexibility when transitioning back to work.

We know the power our people can bring to inclusion, equity and diversity. So, we encourage our colleagues to share ideas and experiences. We have multiple employee networks across AB InBev Europe to encourage engagement, including the business resource group PROUD, which helps our LGBTQ+ colleagues to be themselves and feel supported in the workplace; Parents & Carers, to support those who have caring responsibilities and TogetHER, which supports and celebrates female colleagues.

These groups have already established relationships with LGBTQ+ rights charity Stonewall, creating an Allyship Library in Fetter Lane office, orchestrating LinkedIn Spotlight to highlight the stories and careers paths of People of Colour at Budweiser Brewing Group, working together on National Inclusion Week and creating a roundtable with benefits providers to around use of inclusive terminology.


Alexandre Pouille

“DEI matters to me because we need to all recognise that we’re part of the solution. Beer, the original social network, unifies our consumers to celebrate together, regardless of background. Let’s ensure that we are as connected to consumers as possible and that we have an equally diverse and inclusive workforce. I have enjoyed reaching out to groups like A Seat at the Table where I hope to spark interest in our communities based on the amazing and fun industry that beer is. We grow, brew, market, and sell our beers to millions daily – our jobs are equally exciting.

Alexandre Pouille, VP Finance, DEI People & Workplace Sponsor
Value Chain

The Value Chain pillar ensures that our DEI efforts are reflected throughout our supplier and partner network. This includes the implementation of a supplier diversity program, which works with our existing suppliers to implement stronger DEI measures and supports our commitment to source from more diverse suppliers, both existing and new. As the world’s largest brewer, and a company with a major footprint beyond our own offices and breweries, we recognise our responsibility to spark progress outside of our business.

We have revised our procurement processes to ensure that diverse suppliers are included as part of all relevant tenders. We are also reviewing and updating our procurement processes to ensure they are accessible to all kinds of suppliers. The insights that we have received from the diverse businesses that we’ve worked with to date are playing an important role in how we approach this.

We have partnered with DEI organisations such as MSDUK, The UK’s leading supplier diversity organisation, and WECONNECT, a global network that connects women-owned businesses to qualified buyers and ran our first “Meet the Buyer” event to engage with DEI suppliers.  We are actively participating in as many external events as possible, and will continue to deliver more events, pursue more partnerships with DEI organisations and continue to engage with diverse suppliers across Europe.


The Marketplace pillar aims to make our brands agents of change in driving DEI through advertising standards and powerful, consumer-facing campaigns. In Europe we have launched an Inclusive Marketing Framework to ensure our campaigns are representative, respectful and are developed with surrounding perspectives at every stage of the creative process.

Brian Perkins

On a personal level, I am a tall, white male and I’ve always had a passion for powerlifting, boxing and martial arts. It’s been a long time since I experienced feelings of personal unsafety or marginalisation. Reflecting carefully on what Diversity & Inclusion means has become a powerful life lesson in blind spots for me, both personally and in my career. For example, one of my best friends (who is black) described to me the fatigue of daily microaggressions (shopkeepers moving closer to keep a watchful eye; hotel door staff questioning his intentions when he tried to enter, etc.) I had no idea. And I reflected how much easier my day must be without these obstacles.

Brian Perkins, President of Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I and Compañía Cervecera de Canarias, Sponsor of Marketplace

The Communities pillar of our Diversity & Inclusion Council looks to engage our communities on DEI and foster strategic external partnerships in our key areas. We are an integral part of the communities where we live and work. We strive to make a positive impact in our communities and this means ensuring our DEI initiatives extend beyond our business to also support our communities externally.

Our communities are the groups and people in our external environment, either defined by the belonging to certain social, geographical or interest groups, such as local residents around breweries or charities, or by the adherence or interest in a social cause or purpose. We work on a project basis for these communities, selecting projects based on relevance to our agenda, scope and importance of topics, imminent social issues and scalability.

We have been working with the Brewers of Europe to establish a Pan-European Code of Conduct that we intend to have an impact on the entire industry. Our next priority will be to have more brewing companies introduce DEI policies and to expand our partnership to encompass the entire value chain. 

Cybelle Buyck

“Our path to diversity, equity and inclusion goes in hand with supporting the communities around us as change needs to happen everywhere.  Only together with our communities can we create a better future. That’s why we’re creating partnerships and actively looking for opportunities where we can have a positive impact on our communities, improve people’s lives and make a difference. The work within the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Work group of the Brewers of Europe is a key step forward to drive change within the entire value chain as we want to engage with other federations to increase the impact. For me, this means not only talking about diversity, equity and inclusion, but truly living it by driving transformation.”

Cybelle Buyck, VP Legal & Corporate Affairs
AB InBev ProudTogether

Collaboration to Inspire Change

We are working with external partners to help underrepresented people gain valuable business knowledge and build skills, work experience and confidence.

In Belgium, we partner with A Seat at the Table, an organisation that provides young people from underprivileged areas access to our business leaders to learn about what we do and gain insights about the business world.

We are also actively involved with 1 Million Mentors in the UK, where our colleagues can sign up to mentor young people for one hour a month in a one-to-one session. The aim is to help increase youth employability and break down social barriers so more young people feel empowered and confident both in their professional and personal lives.

Also in the UK, the Stand Out program helps create job placements for unemployed or underemployed 18 to 25-year-olds with high potential. Through this partnership, we are providing 10 paid internships for young talent to experience working for a global company, plus formal training to help develop their abilities further.

We also work with Kick It Out, a football equality and inclusion organisation that fights against discrimination for everyone who plays, watches or works in football. Additionally, we have launched our new Partnership Academy to help bring more people from diverse backgrounds into the wholesaler industry.

Our work with Têtu Connect, Vercida and MyGwork, brings together LGBTQ+ professionals, graduates, allies, and organisations to help with DEI in business. In addition to these activities we are actively exploring new opportunities to support our communities in the proximity of our breweries, and support social causes and organisations.

An Inclusive Future. An Empowered Future. An Equitable Future. To A Future With More Cheers

As we make progress towards the focuses of our Diversity & Inclusion Council, we are committed to constantly learning and refining our approach, to address gaps and maximise our impact. The more we progress, the better we can ensure that everyone can succeed, regardless of personal characteristics or social identities. While we are excited to announce these initiatives and our progress to date, we also acknowledge the depth and complexity of this topic and know that we are still in an early stage of our journey. We look forward to continuing conversation with our partners inside and outside of our business and learning from others in this space. We know that, together, we can create an empowered, equitable and inclusive future – a future with more cheers.


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