For over a year the British Beer and Pub Association has sought to improve and champion diversity and inclusion within its industry, ensuring pubs and breweries are #OpenToAll.

From producing guidance and practical tips, to celebrating the successes of our members in this area, the BBPA is committed to embedding diversity and inclusion as a key pillar of our work. Our members brew 90% of the beer in the UK and run almost 20,000 pubs in the heart of communities across the UK and in doing so recognise their role in providing safe, inclusive spaces whether you are a customer or a team member.

In supporting members to ensure diversity and inclusion is championed throughout their businesses the BBPA has been mindful of bringing everyone along on the journey together. We recognise the benefit of and need for everyone to commit to this cause collectively.

Our members range from regional family run companies to international businesses and have different resource and ability to affect change in this area. As a result, the bedrock of our D&I work has been bringing members together as part of an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group. Made up of leaders in this field from member organisations and those looking to learn more, the group meets regularly to identify ways in which we can progress diversity and inclusion within the brewing and pub sector.

This led to the first ever Diversity and Inclusion Charter being launched for breweries and pubs; a sector-wide commitment to embed practices throughout member’s businesses from boardroom to the bar.

We launched our #OpenToAll Charter at a leading LGBTQ+ Blackpool pub in June, the event was attended by members and local politicians, showcasing the importance of this issue to our sector.

Alongside the Charter, which provides a list of commitments for members to sign up to, the BBPA also produced practical guidance in the form of a toolkit, alongside diversity and inclusion consultants Inclusive Employers. The toolkit gives step by step guidance on how to affect change on diversity and inclusion for pub and brewing businesses and reminds people that it is never too late to start on this journey and that even doing one thing is better than nothing.

In addition, the BBPA also produced a template demographics survey for members to begin benchmarking within their own organisations, because we cannot know the progress we have made if we don’t know where we have started from. Similarly the BBPA also commissioned an external EDI-focused perceptions survey for the brewing and pub industry so we are able to measure progress for the wider industry.

Alongside providing tools and resources for members we have also continued to celebrate member successes and progress on diversity and inclusion. This element of our work aims to inspire others to also take action. During Inclusion Week, we showcased individual experiences throughout our member’s businesses on what inclusion means to them.

Where members have already made great strides in this area, we have encouraged sharing best practise and educating other, often smaller members. In the D&I Working Group we have created a safe space and culture of learning, growing and sharing together which has meant people feel welcome to ask questions and ‘call people in’.

We recently expanded this further by hosting a webinar, open to members and anyone else who wanted to attend, to hear from two very different member experiences of championing D&I in their businesses. Alcohol free brewer Lucky Saint shared how their small team is creating a culture for people who aren’t in the room, whilst leading pub business Greene King showcased an internal campaign they recently launched. It was attended by members of all sizes, as well as the wider sector, who were eager to learn from peers on how to start or continue along their D&I journey. It is free and available for all to watch here.

We have made great progress on D&I within our membership and the industry more generally but we know there is more to do. Throughout 2023 the BBPA will be running an open programme of events to explore different topics around D&I and help members and other organisations in the industry to progress in this area. We also plan to re-launch our Charter regionally to encourage action and investment in the sectors D&I journey in all devolved nations, to ensure pubs and breweries across the entirety of the UK are #OpenToAll.

Related documents