2021 Top 25 Diversity Change Leaders Continue Progress in Difficult Times

Victoria Russell Building DEI Strategy at Beam Suntory

Victoria Russell is the first Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of Beam Suntory. Russell leads diversity, equity and inclusion across talent acquisition, career development and employee retention, marketing, community relations, and building organizational capability to better recognize bias and further drive an inclusive mindset.

Victoria’s immediate priority was to conduct a listening tour to understand the organization’s culture and people. This helped inform a robust DEI strategy that maintains open communication, leverages employee feedback and is building a strong foundation of openness and trust. Victoria champions diversity and inclusion with empathy, encouraging people to share their experiences and have open, honest conversations. When building an equitable and inclusive culture, Victoria believes in co-creation and shared ownership to successfully embed DEI into the DNA of the organization

One of the most important best practices Victoria employs is bringing people along on the journey. Her leadership philosophy is based on an ongoing listening strategy that keeps her plugged in and connected to employee sentiment.

  • Favorite Quote: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” ― Maya Angelou