Home to such ubiquitous brands as Coors Light and Miller High Life, Chicago-headquartered Molson Coors has been a leading brewer of beer and other alcohol since the original Canadian Molson Brewery was founded in 1786. Molson Coors has been helping people come together and celebrate for two centuries. And with $10 billion in revenue, the company has its own reason to celebrate.
But after a 2020 tragedy at the company’s Milwaukee brewing campus shed light on potential workplace discrimination, Molson Coors hired a consulting firm to review its policies, pledged to hire more people of color, and completely reformatted its approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
“There’s no two ways about it. We have more work to do. Fostering an inclusive and welcoming workplace is something every organization has to work towards each day, and we aren’t going to shy away from our responsibility to take a deep look at our own culture,” said Chief Communications and Corporate Affairs Officer Adam Collins in a statement.
Since 2020, Molson Coors has developed five organizational values around DEI. Every October, for example, is dedicated to a Month of Inclusion series featuring interactive sessions, keynote speakers, and “candid conversations to help build our DEI understanding and development.”
“Our point of view is that our employees need to be as diverse as our consumers, who are as diverse as our products,” a video on the company’s DEI homepage announces. “We believe an inclusive culture drives stronger engagement and, in turn, improves business performance.”
Along with actively recruiting more people of color (including designating $1 billion on diverse suppliers), Molson Coors is also committed to increasing the representation of women in the often male-dominated brewing industry. The company also introduced gender affirmation benefits for both its US and Canadian workforce in an effort to make the industry more welcoming to people from underrepresented groups.
Those benefits reimburse staff for procedures that accompany a transition, such as facial feminization, vocal therapy, and pectoral implants.
“We want, as an employer, for people to embrace their whole selves and we want to accompany them through this process because we know it’s very life-defining,” said Michael Nordman, Molson Coors’ senior community affairs manager, in a statement. “And we want to make sure they have access to all the benefits they need.”
And while all those efforts have already begun yielding positive results, building a culture that embraces DEI initiatives is much more difficult than simply rolling out new benefits. But the company’s leadership has proven ready to take on that responsibility.
Alexander De Azcarate, vice president of global IT service operations (including support of over 1,400 global applications), has long utilized his own passion for DEI to help guide others on their own career journey. His strategy has been instrumental in helping form those informal mentorships that can help nurture and grow individuals in their professional careers.
The scope of De Azcarate’s global role is notable as it includes an IT department of 350, with countless additional vendor partnerships. A native of Argentina who’s lived all over the globe, his approach to leadership is grounded in respect, teamwork, and the value that diversity of experience and background brings to a role.
De Azcarate has been with Molson Coors since 2011 and risen through numerous director-level positions to his current role. Previously, the VP spent nearly eleven years at Kraft Foods, where he earned five promotions in tech and IT roles.
The VP’s visibility at Molson Coors is just as important as his own dedication to helping advance those just beginning their careers. De Azcarate’s ability to impact his organization on a global scale helps give credence to the company’s desire for change to create a more welcoming environment for everyone.