Monday, December 12, 2022

HEINEKEN USA's Second Behind the Label Report Dives into Inclusion and Belonging in the US Alcoholic Beverage Industry

Survey Findings Point to Transparency and Representation as Key Inclusion Factors

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Dec. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, HEINEKEN USA announced the release of "Fostering Belonging & Inclusion in the Alcoholic Beverage Industry," the second report within its ongoing Behind the Label program. Expanding on last year's gender diversity findings, the report draws on alcoholic beverage employees' perspectives on bias and inclusion in the industry, and how organizations can address both to improve belonging across the workforce.

In looking at employees' experiences, the research showed that a majority (86%) say they have experienced some type of personal bias during their time in the industry. These employees recognize that efforts are being made to address these issues and 70% say they are confident in their company's ability to improve inclusion and diversity.

While they point to a variety of things that their organizations are doing, those surveyed indicate that focusing on authenticity, representation, and transparency in their day-to-day interactions will have the most impact on their sense of belonging.

Inspired by Representation and Authenticity

Connection and representation play an important role in the factors employees feel most inspired by and which influence how they behave. More than four in five (82%) employees belonging to underrepresented groups feel they must mirror their colleagues to "fit into" the industry. Those pressures can be lessened, though, by the programs that organizations offer. For example, close to half (43%) of respondents say that a greater focus on advancement opportunities such as mentorship has encouraged them to stay in the industry. This was closely followed by 40% of employees saying that access to Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) with diverse representation encouraged them to remain in the field. These advancement opportunities address the heart of a company's culture – they produce feelings of deeper belonging within employees as they encourage colleagues to work together through mutual trust and open communication.

"Our industry is built on bringing people together – celebrating what makes each of us unique while enjoying the similarities that make us feel connected. This was part of the inspiration behind the second chapter of Behind the Label. We wanted to understand what people in the industry needed in order to feel like they belong and how we can best address those needs," said Maggie Timoney, CEO of HEINEKEN USA. "We want to foster an environment that encourages people to be their authentic selves, both in and out of the workplace, without fearing that they won't be accepted."

Driving Greater Transparency

While employees report being inspired by the connections they make with their managers and colleagues, they are also very focused on understanding the factors which influence their achievements in the workplace. Their responses show a strong desire for greater transparency from organizations. More than half (54%) believe there is a lack of pay equality in the workplace. What's more – leaders share these same worries. Senior executives (68%) were more likely to share concerns about a lack of pay equality than those at the mid-level or lower.

More than a third (38%) of the employees surveyed ranked clear benchmarks for advancement as one of the most important factors for ensuring their success at work. This was followed closely by greater transparency on pay equity, which 37% of employees included in the top three changes they'd like to see the industry make. Employees want to better understand when they are succeeding, where they should focus their time to advance in their careers, and how such benchmarks are tied to their compensation.

Through the multi-year Behind the Label program, HEINEKEN USA seeks to further explore the industry in order to strengthen the bonds between its people. By identifying the areas that will help to foster strong cultures of belonging in the industry, the organization aims to champion inclusion efforts for the good of its employees and others.

To read the report and learn more about HEINEKEN USA'S Behind the Label initiative, visit


On behalf of HEINEKEN USA (HUSA), in August 2022 Wakefield Research surveyed more than 500 US-based adults employed by alcoholic beverage manufacturers, with oversamples for 200 female, 100 Hispanic/Latino and 100 Black/African-American employees. The data has been weighted and the results of any sample are subject to sampling variation.

In addition to the survey findings, the team synthesized research from several third-party resources, including Gallup, Gartner, Edelman, and EY.


HEINEKEN USA a subsidiary of HEINEKEN International N.V., the world's most international brewer. Key brands imported into the U.S. are Heineken® – the world's most international beer brand, Heineken® 0.0 – an alcohol-free beer innovation, the Dos Equis Franchise, and the Tecate Franchise. HEINEKEN USA also imports Amstel Light, Red Stripe, Strongbow Hard Apple Ciders, Bohemia, and more. For news and updates, follow us on Twitter @HeinekenUSACorp, or visit

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