Diageo Announces Pronghorn Initiative to Promote Diversity, Equality


May 27, 2021

Diageo announced a partnership with spirits industry veterans Dia Simms and Erin Harris to launch Pronghorn, an economic initiative focused on supporting expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion within the beverage alcohol industry.

The program is named for the land animal of the same name, which is indigenous and unique to North America, and  can maintain the fastest speeds over the longest distances on land, according to a news release.

In its initial phase, Pronghorn will focus on addressing the lack of equitable representation among the Black community in the spirits industry by stimulating entrepreneurship, recruitment and retention. The news announcement states that the Black community represents 12 percent of consumers across the U.S. alcohol industry, but is inequitably represented from employment and ownership perspectives.

“Diversifying the industry accelerates innovation and competitiveness, and our strategic approach to recruit, retain and advance the Black community and communities of color within the industry alongside Diageo North America couldn’t be more necessary and timely,” Harris said. “We understand first-hand the importance of being motivated and the critical need for ownership and participation at every level of the category.”

This effort aligns with Diageo’s initiative Society 2030: Spirit of Progress, a global 10-year action plan to help create a more inclusive and sustainable world. As part of this plan, Diageo has committed to increase representation of global leaders from diverse backgrounds to 45 percent, achieve at least 50 percent representation of women in leadership roles, and ensure community programs will be designed to enhance diversity and inclusion of previously excluded groups by 2030, among other goals.

From Left to Right: Erin Harris, Pronghorn Co-founder, Dia Simms, Pronghorn Co-Founder, & Debra Crew, President, Diageo North America (Photo: Lukasz Suski)