Diageo Bar Academy (DBA) Building a Thriving Hospitality Sector That Works For All.

SMARTS, Hollywood / DIAEGO / 2023

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Globally, women are under-represented in higher paying/profile roles in hospitality such as bartender, manager or owner.

This gap is widest in developing countries (e.g. Indian women are only ~5% of the bartending community) and the disparity has worsened – the pandemic had a disproportionately negative impact on both the hospitality sector and gender equality more broadly.


DBA developed a multi-platform 12-month content plan that showcased a diverse range of women’s voices and highlighted their expertise – providing role models that educated and inspired both female and male audiences, and showed how many women trailblazers there are in the bar industry. (While the target beneficiaries were women, the content was designed to be inclusive and non-alienating for all genders).

The content was delivered across a range of digital formats, including articles, social videos, live interactive masterclasses, and podcasts. To complement these channels, DBA also developed women-only training and mentorship sessions that gave more opportunities to enter the profession and thrive.

Global campaign delivery was matched with culturally relevant country-specific programming tailored to mentoring in the context of local culture, addressing the specific issues and obstacles to be overcome, and where appropriate timed to relevant global or local media or marketing hooks.


As Diageo Bar Academy seeks to strengthen its community and support female representation, one of the issues when strategizing is that the wider industry is still very much underrepresented. However, rather than seeing this a roadblock, DBA has looked to challenge the status quo

Our strategy was underpinned by data and research, including:

• Quantifying the disparities by country.

• An in-depth understanding of the barriers facing women in the hospitality sector.

• The positive correlation of diversity with business performance – in this case, more women behind the bar offers business benefits for the venue, a halo effect for Diageo brands, and a broader social benefit within the community


DBA's multi-platform 12-month content plan included:

International Women’s Day

A unique social reel engaged users globally, provoked debate, and highlighted experiences of women in the industry.

- 1.7m reach

- 500k+ engagement / 29.2% engagement.

An exclusive blog featured stories from trailblazing women who are paving the way for greater inclusion in the Spirits sector.

- 25k+ views

- Time on page: 7:33 (significantly above 6:24 average).

World Bartender Day

In a video, leading bar professionals Minakshi Singh, Chelsie Bailey and Victoria Chow celebrated bartenders worldwide:

- 1,590,010 Facebook / Instagram reach

- 46.3% engagement, (KPI: Facebook =15%, Instagram =20%)


- +7% y-o-y increase in female DBA membership.

- Females now half of DBA website users.

- Females contribute 44% of DBA content, (50% target by 2025).

- DBA trained 130,000 face-to-face globally. In countries with the greatest hospitality gender disparity, DBA is actively closing that gap: (Kenya: 57% of trainees were women.

India: 15% of trainees were women, versus 5% industry average. In 2022, 900 women were trained in skills generating sustainable livelihoods).

DBA’s 2022 global community survey demonstrated high, and significantly increasing, support for its efforts to advance women in the industry:

- 82% agreed DBA actively supports women’s advancement (61% last year).

- 80% of females feel well represented by DBA (68% last year).

- 82% of females agreed DBA helped them progress their career (60% last year).

Survey data shows DBA increases the likelihood to recommend Diageo brands by up to 20 percentage points, driving sales.

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