Scotch whisky industry launches diversity and inclusivity charter

The Scotch whisky industry has launched a diversity and inclusivity charter in a bid to improve equal opportunities across the sector. Developed by trade body the Scotch Whisky Association, it pledges a commitment to diversity across the industry’s global workforce.

The launch follows a week where there was a social media row about sexism in the whisky industry when Becky Paskin, former editor of, took Jim Murray to task for objectifying women in his ‘Whisky Bible’ publication.

The Charter sets a series of minimum benchmarks for all SWA member companies to meet and sets a clear path for companies – large and small – to work together to ensure that the Charter commitments are fulfilled.

Said Chief Executive of the SWA Karen Betts, “The Scotch Whisky industry is launching our Diversity and Inclusivity Charter today, doubling down on our commitment to actively welcome people from all backgrounds to work in our companies. Scotch Whisky is hugely diverse in itself, with our vast range of whiskies coming from all shapes and sizes of distilleries across the four corners of Scotland.

“Through the Charter, we are underscoring our commitment to attract a wide range of people to work for the industry in Scotland and around the world at all levels and at all stages in their careers.  Our goal is to ensure that our workforce is as diverse as our whiskies and the people who enjoy them.”

She continued, “The Charter is just the start of the conversation. Many of our member companies are already engaging in a range of activities and programmes to improve diversity and inclusion, from flexible hours, to parental leave, mental wellbeing initiatives, and embracing new recruitment processes.  What the Charter will now do is foster collaboration between our companies, so everyone can learn from each other’s experiences and ensure we can move forward step by step, positively and collectively, on this important journey.”

Scott McCroskie, Chairman of the SWA Council and Chief Executive of Edrington, said, “The launch of the Diversity and Inclusivity Charter is an important statement of intent from the Scotch Whisky industry to ensure the sector is a representative and welcoming place to build a career.

“Business decisions are stronger when a diverse range of voices have the opportunity to feed in, so the Charter is also vital to the continued strength of the industry. I look forward to working alongside the SWA and fellow member companies to fulfil the commitments outlined in the Charter, and fuel the Scotch Whisky industry’s success in the long term.”