Distilled Spirits Council Forms Committee to Drive Diversity, Equity


June 9, 2021

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States has formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee designed to identify and define immediate and long-term actions to take to build more diverse and inclusive opportunities for spirits industry professionals.

The new committee will be chaired by Dr. Atira Charles, Head of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity at Moët Hennessy North America. Victoria Russell, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Beam Suntory, was selected to serve as vice chair.

DISCUS has held two roundtable meetings with member companies to strategize its direction. DISCUS will further expand inclusion and diversity education into programming including more diverse voices on its Spirited Advocate Podcast, and requiring a DEI course as part of the DISCUS Academy curriculum. 

“The establishment of this committee is key to the future of our industry,” Dr. Charles said. “Our industry must reflect the communities and consumers we serve, while also being innovative and strategic in the ways in which we show up within those communities.

“It is an honor to serve as the inaugural chair of this very important committee within DISCUS. I look forward to bringing my years of expertise to this role, and I will lead in a collaborative way with the other committee members. We are stronger together and impacting this industry will take all hands. We must all lead with passion, purpose, commitment, and accountability to move the needle on this important work.”

Russell added, “I’m proud to help lead this committee as DISCUS members partner to catalyze sustainable change, driving awareness and action, to increase inclusivity, retention, and career paths, making our industry a destination of choice for diverse talent.”