A mutual commitment to inclusion has fostered a strong partnership between the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) and Brock University’s Goodman School of Business.
On Tuesday, Oct. 12, the LCBO launched its Spirit of Inclusion initiative in response to the lack of equitable representation of women and diverse communities in the beverage alcohol industry.
Partnering with Brock’s Goodman School of Business, the LCBO initiative will help create more opportunities for diverse women looking to enter, advance and thrive in the industry.
“It is our responsibility to use our influence and resources to increase diverse representation and foster inclusion within the beverage alcohol industry,” said George Soleas, President and CEO, LCBO.
The initiative is collaborating on two opportunities within the Brock community.
Through the establishment of the LCBO Spirit of Inclusion Initiative Research Scholar, university-based research will be used to determine baselines related to diversity in the industry, as well as identify barriers that inhibit growth in diversity within the beer, wine and spirits field.
Appointed to this research chair is Shawna Chen, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Goodman School of Business. Chen’s strong research profile, in addition to the feasibility of her proposed research program and its relevance to gender diversity in the Canadian beverage alcohol industry, contributed to her appointment.
Secondly, the LCBO Spirit of Inclusion Initiative Mobility Bursaries are intended to remove financial barriers for students wanting to pursue the double degree of an MBA and MSc through the partnership of the Goodman School of Business and France’s Burgundy School of Business.
“We are pleased to partner with the LCBO on their Spirit of Inclusion Initiative that focuses on bringing greater diversity to the beverage alcohol industry,” said Brock University Interim President Lynn Wells. “The establishing of the Spirit of Inclusion Research Scholar and Mobility Bursaries at Brock will allow the Goodman School of Business to further our commitment to enhancing diversity and expanding opportunities for women from diverse backgrounds.”
In addition to supporting the LCBO’s commitments to championing equity, diversity and inclusion, the partnership also supports the values in Brock’s Institutional Strategic Plan. As outlined, Brock has committed to building inclusivity and equity through understanding and respect for diverse communities.
“When the values of our institution align so closely with those of a corporation, especially one as large as the LCBO, the impact of a strong partnership can be endless,” said Andrew Gaudes, Dean, Goodman School of Business.
“The LCBO has recognized Brock for our unique course offerings and connections to the wine industry, making us an ideal partner for this initiative,” he said. “This is a great example of how our academic advancement opens opportunity for collaborative partnerships that will further benefit the institution and the students of it.”
Brock looks forward to celebrating the opportunities this initiative will present to its diverse population, and the future of this partnership.