Every initiative Bacardi facilitates bears special significance, but few resembles the heart of the company quite like Belonging at Bacardi. Created to drive diversity and inclusion within the workplace, Belonging at Bacardi is a celebration of the individual—who they are, what they do, and who they can become. It ensures everyone feels welcome—regardless of race, gender, ability, ethnicity, etc.—because Bacardi wants all its employees to feel at home within its walls. Diversity of thought helps drive inclusivity, agility, innovation and creativity. To that end, Bacardi is committed to hiring and promoting the best talent while reflecting the diverse communities it serves.
Below are a few highlights from the past year that celebrate what representation looks like under the banner of Belonging at Bacardi.
Belonging in Action
Launched in North America in FY23, Belonging in Action is a workshop series designed to nurture inclusive attitudes and behaviors among employees while further evolving company culture. Employees took part in four distinct modules (online or in person) which led them on an immersive and practical journey through the key elements that build Belonging at Bacardi. By the end of the fiscal year, 60% of employees in North America had completed the full workshop, while employees in other markets are in the process of completing their version of the workshop as well.
The workshop encourages each employee to “show up” as their most authentic self as a path toward achieving their full potential and installs strategies to enhance peer-to-peer interactions as a way of positively impacting overall business performance.
Belonging at Bacardi Video Campaign
During the pandemic, at a time when people were feeling more isolated than ever, Bacardi pulled together a video storytelling campaign that aimed to bring employees together, and to recognize and show appreciation for being their authentic selves. The campaign, called Belonging at Bacardi, was a video series that represented a cross-section of the diversity that exists within the company. While the pandemic made execution tricky at times—with travel restrictions, lockdowns, safety concerns, etc.—Bacardi sent its crew to 13 cities across the globe to document the stories of 17 individuals who spoke candidly about their journey, what diversity means to them, and how they are able to let their true selves shine at Bacardi.
The video series—which won Best Video Campaign in the Ragan’s PR Daily Awards—was released internally and externally, and was met with such an upswell of support, Bacardi is developing a second video series to continue sharing these unique and personal stories.
Watch the Belonging at Bacardi video series.
Bacardi empowers women within the workplace and strives for gender equality across the organization and among those who hold leadership positions. It’s a top priority for the company and a central part of its overarching Belonging at Bacardi initiative. A strong female perspective adds diversity of thought and is essential when it comes to ensuring better decision-making, greater innovation, and ultimately, presenting a more welcoming work environment for everyone. Furthermore, it’s a precedent that will help Bacardi attract and retain top female talent and inspire other women within the industry to pursue a similar path for themselves, which will positively impact the landscape of the hospitality sector for generations—precisely the legacy Bacardi is actively striving to build.
Bacardi is proud to be recognized by Forbes as one of the World’s Top Female-Friendly Companies.
From its very inception, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® has sought to be a distinctive brand of gin capable of disrupting the status quo and unlocking the creative potential within people. Its Stir Creativity platform is more than a motto, it’s a call to action. And in 2022, the brand hosted an exclusive, two-day event for rising female creatives in “the Cradle of Humankind,” the picturesque Nirox Sculpture Park in Muldersdrift, Johannesburg, South Africa. The Sensory Soiree pulled together a mix of tastemakers—in fashion, design, the culinary arts, music and dance—for a multidisciplinary art experience that became a vehicle for telling the story of how its blend of 10 handpicked botanicals—sourced from all over the world in exotic locales such as Saxony, Spain, and Morocco—makes BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® the perfect blank canvas for gin cocktails.
The experience culminated with a three-course meal prepared by chef Leon van Deventer, of Gemelli fame, one of Johannesburg’s most celebrated restaurants. Each course led participants on a journey through the brand’s 10 botanicals, which were used as a foundation for the meal.
In a traditionally male-dominated field, Bacardi is intent upon ensuring there exists gender diversity on its team of tastemakers. The women who helm these brands possess the perfect blend of magic, artistry and science, giving them precisely what it takes to be a Master Blender.
In 2022, DEWAR’S® Scotch whisky celebrated 175 years in business. But the brand—so steeped in tradition—hasn’t achieved its longevity by following convention. Instead, it blazes trails. And so it did in 2006 when, for the first time in DEWAR’S® history, it named Stephanie Macleod its Master Blender. Stephanie hails from a background in food science, an industry that relies heavily upon sensory cues—particularly, those of taste and smell. To that end, Stephanie has spent her life honing an exquisite sensory memory, which she pairs with an uncanny ability to articulate precisely what her senses are telling her. Today, she carries the torch as a strong female leader in the spirits industry by passing on what she’s learned to others, and nurturing a team of blenders and assistant blenders, which includes plenty of female talent. For someone who’s spent her entire career breaking boundaries, Stephanie looks forward to breaking new boundaries as DEWAR’S® embarks upon its next 175 years. And as the first female to be named Master Blender of the Year—a title she’s earned four years in a row, in the International Whisky Competition—she’s poised to do exactly that.
Dr. Anne Brock
Shortly after earning a doctoral degree in organic chemistry from the University of Oxford, Dr. Anne Brock established a career in the distilling industry, successfully marrying together the two loves of her life: chemistry and cocktails. She quickly became a trailblazer in the world of spirits, and today excels in the role of Master Distiller at BOMBAY SAPPHIRE®. According to Dr. Brock, there’s no one more passionate about a spirit than the person who distills it. And in an industry that’s increasingly thirsty for innovation, she thrives on leveraging her scientific background to move the industry forward in more ways than one. She ensures consumers get the consistency and quality they expect from BOMBAY SAPPHIRE®, with a pipeline of future products to drive consumer trends for years to come. She’s helping the brand continue to build a legacy of sustainability for the long-term good of our planet.
SANTA TERESA 1796® is a heritage brand. As its name suggests, it was founded in 1796, and the rum distillery has become the leading producer of rum in Venezuela. In 2021, for the first time in its 227-year history, it appointed a woman to be its Master Blender: Venezuela-born Nancy Duarte. Nancy started her career at Hacienda Santa Teresa in 1990 as an intern, preparing the daily tastings while taking surreptitious sips to learn the unique characteristics of the liquid in each glass. Today, she’s lending her expertise to SANTA TERESA 1796®, helping to make it one of the top rum brands in the world and shaping the future of an entire industry in the process.
Since opening its doors in 2020, the Bacardi Center of Excellence at Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management has been a magnet for students seeking to launch a career in hospitality. The program has consistently added innovative educational opportunities to its curricula year after year, and 2022 was no different. Collaborating with some of the best and most visionary professionals in the industry—like global bar operator Steve Schneider and sustainability advocate Claire Sprouse—Bacardi introduced Future Proof, a bar training program that provides foundational knowledge and techniques that will help students launch their careers.
Broken into two segments—online and in-person—the curriculum covers everything from service and cocktail history to bar tools and techniques, ingredient prep, spirits production, and classic cocktail recipes, followed by in-person training from leading members of the local bar community across the country. What’s more, 100% of fees are dedicated to creating scholarships for future industry professionals who are in need of assistance. It’s one way Bacardi is bolstering the leisure and hospitality industry, which is rebuilding its talent pipeline after having been hit so hard by the global pandemic.
Culture is an outward expression of something created inside—something built within—be it for a brand, a social group, or an entire nation. To put it another way, it’s the customs we create, the values we share, and the ethos we uphold. Bacardi has its own culture, to be sure. But it’s also doing what it can to help shape the culture of society itself.
Music Liberates Music
Every day, 100,000 new songs are uploaded to digital streaming platforms. To put that into perspective, if you wanted to listen to all the new songs that were uploaded, say, last Tuesday, it would take approximately 30 years to do so. Now imagine what it must be like for a rising artist to break through the noise and find an audience—especially without promotional support.
BACARDÍ® rum is doing its part to help new artists find their audience. In 2022, BACARDÍ® rum teamed up with Grammy-winning producer BOI-1DA and rising fashion brand NAHMIAS to create the Wearable Album, the first clothing collection that rewards people who sport the brand and turn new fans onto the up-and-coming artists featured within it—via QR-embedded designs. The innovative streetwear materialized as part of the Music Liberates Music platform, which supports and amplifies rising musical talent while reinventing revenue and exposure, and engaging consumers in unique ways.
Sometimes the biggest obstacles in life stem from one’s own misperceptions—even if they’re born of certain societal norms. Such was the case for Roger Steele who, as a young black man growing up in Chicago, spent a majority of his youth concealing his love for the game of golf because he believed it to be (largely) a sport reserved for older white men. That all changed when he found himself on a golf course for a work event early in his career, and his eyes were opened to how effortlessly the game allowed him to connect with his peers. Since then, he’s become a professional golfer, and today uses his platform to break down the stereotypes that once kept him from openly expressing his love for the game—and the barriers that keep other young black men away from the sport. He’s building a legacy of inclusion on the course, helping people to feel more welcome, and DEWAR’S® is helping his cause.
In 2022, DEWAR’S® joined forces with Steele, and the two partnered with Five Iron Golf—one of the fastest growing golf venues in the U.S., offering indoor golf simulation in urban communities—to create the #RillSophisticated Tour, which catered to the growing community of black golfers, inspiring inclusion and inviting everyone to enjoy the game of golf and the spirit of Scotch whisky—a natural twosome if ever there was one.
BOMBAY® + BASQUIAT™
Jean-Michel Basquiat is a cultural icon. Heavily influenced by his Puerto Rican heritage and African-American roots, Basquiat emerged from the cultural renaissance that burgeoned in New York City in the 1980s. His bright and bold works explored darker themes of racism, class, mortality and self-identity. But Basquiat created more than art; he developed a global legacy that has inspired generations.
To honor that legacy, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® teamed up with the Basquiat Estate to create a special edition bottle as part of its Stir Creativity platform, which seeks to inspire and unlock the creative potential in people by using art as a means of self-expression. Featuring the artist’s never-before licensed Untitled (L.A. Painting) from 1982, the bottle celebrates his enduring impact on the world and shines a light on what it means to embrace the fearless creativity BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® represents.
PATRÓN® Mexican Heritage Tin
Harvesting and cutting agave piÃ±as is one of the oldest traditions in Mexico—a tradition that is inextricably linked to the time-honored process of creating PATRÓN® tequila. So when the tequila brand invited acclaimed Mexican sculptor SebastiÃ¡n to design its 2022 limited edition Mexican Heritage Tin, it was only natural for the world-class artist to draw his inspiration from this rich tradition. SebastiÃ¡n used bold colors and abstract geometric forms to tell the story of agave piÃ±as being harvested while celebrating the country—and handcrafted PATRÓN®—by incorporating an illustration of an agave heart. The tin was created to honor Hispanic Heritage Month and became a dynamic collaboration of passionate mastery between brand and artist.
Bacardi considers the communities it operates within to be an extension of its own family. And those communities have welcomed Bacardi with open arms. As such, Bacardi does all it can to pay back their graciousness with gratitude—especially those who count themselves among minority and underrepresented communities.
Fresh on the heels of its BOMBAY BRAMBLE® release, the gin brand partnered with Chef Omar Tate to launch Cultivating Community: A Dinner Series in Support of Black Farmers. Held at Oko Farms in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the event brought the local farming community together to educate the public on the various challenges they face.
With a rich Hispanic heritage and a strong commitment to being Good Spirited, this year Bacardi commenced a partnership with The Hispanic Heritage Foundation with the ambition of developing a program to support Hispanic business owners and their green vision. The VisiÃ³n Verde grant program—which will launch next year following the partnership with The Hispanic Heritage Foundation—will give $10,000 and dedicated sustainability support to 10 Miami-based Hispanic-owned hospitality businesses for use toward a sustainability project of their choosing. Grant recipients will also benefit from dedicated sustainability guidance from CoctelerÃa Consciente, a Hispanic-owned sustainability consultancy with expertise in the hospitality sector.
Amor de Barrio
In Spain, many local bars are still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, thirsting for the return of their patrons. In an effort to restore a little nightlife to some of the neighborhoods hit hardest by COVID-19, Bacardi launched Amor de Barrio (translation: Neighborhood Love) in 2022, which supplemented the cost of cocktails made using Bacardi brands in 1,000 bars in and around Madrid, Barcelona, Seville and Valencia. Additionally, a partnership with the European Bartending School provided free training for bar staff to ensure those Bacardi cocktails were top notch.