(Reporter: Shi Danni) How conduct financial training to rural women who know nothing about financial knowledge and help them make first step toward employment? Diageo, the world leading foreign wine group, performed a trial in Ningxia with micro financial consultancy institute, PlaNet Association, in 2014. They trained the rural women on finance and accounting through innovative concepts and gave financial lessons by using financial posters, picture albums, interactive investment calendars and investment stories. Besides, they offered petty loans and consultation services to local poor women and finally developed their economic and social status. Up to now, over 3000 women have received the training. The program has benefited 9000 people indirectly.
Diageo advocates equal working rights for women. On March 5, 2015, Diageo released white paper Women employees in tourism and hotel industry: fully explore talent resources. The white paper aims at discussing the talent shortage and other challenges in the industry. The white paper holds that it is significant to change the attitudes toward women employees in tourism and hotel industry to reach sexual equality both in laws and in reality. It advocates enterprises, governments and labor unions to jointly explore women’s potential in places of work to push forward sexual equality in the industry.
Local exploration for the social enterprises
As a multinational corporation, Diageo’s business covers over 180 countries and regions and it goes public in London Stock Exchange and New York Exchange. In 2002, Diageo China branch was established and based in Hang Lung Plaza in Nanjing West Road, Jing’an District.
Fu Lingxiao, the director of public affairs and promotion department in China branch of Diageo Group, noted in the interview, social responsibility of the enterprise is the focus of Diageo China. Multinational corporations shall further strengthen enterprise social responsibilities.
Fu Lingxiao holds that in China, people only had NGO concept in the past, and just concentrated on charity. However, in developed countries, enterprise is not only a charitable institute but also a social enterprise. The enterprise may earn profits and use the revenue to contribute to the society. The pattern is rear in China. Supporting on developing social enterprise and undertaking social responsibilities is the critical subject for Diageo in China.
Plan W concentrates on women employment
Plan W is a public service strategy on Asian-Pacific region invested by Diageo, aiming at assisting 2 million women in 17 countries in Asian-Pacific(switch to the joint between section 2 and section 3) (continue to section 1)region by investing 10 million dollars and through skills training. Plan W contains 4 aspects: further enhance diversity of the company from company’s policy making and implementing; improve women employees’ knowledge and career competitiveness through training; support social entrepreneurs and help minor groups with partners to expand their prospect; make use of its major brands to accelerate consumers’ concentration on women issues.
In 2013, the company cooperated with China Women’s Development Foundation to launch Diageo Plan W funds. It intends to donate RMB1 million annually in the following five years at an aggregate of RMB5 million and benefit about 100 thousand Chinese women directly or indirectly.
Sichuan embroidery training program is the first program of the fund. In June, 2013, Diageo provided vocational training for about 1000 women in Sichuan and Jiangsu through Sichuan embroidery training and Lianyungang Chinese dim sum skills training; and delivered training materials to help more women improve their career skills. According to the statistics, about 20 thousand women have received assistance from the fund program and obtained broader career development.
In October, 2014, Plan W fund launched “Vocational skills training on migrant women workers in hotel industry” in Chengdu. The activity aims at conducting short-term vocational training for migrant women workers in Chengdu hotel services and improving their comprehensive service and management capability. Furthermore, it helps develop their vocational ability and enhance their competitiveness. Up to April, 2015, the program has at least provided high-quality vocational skills training courses for 800 women employees in Chengdu hotel industry. In addition, the program improves women’s vocational skills through delivering training materials, second training and online training and benefits 10000 women directly or indirectly.
Micro finance assists rural women in financial investment
In July, 2014, Diageo launched a public service program, micro finance for women, in Ningxia. The program is a critical branch of Diageo Plan W, offering necessary financial training for women in Ningxia. In the first year of the program, it has benefited 3000 women and their 9000 family members. Diageo invested RMB850 thousand initially to conduct the program, carry out financial training by innovative concepts and give financial lessons by using financial posters, picture albums, interactive investment calendars and investment stories.
In 2013, Diageo cooperated with Xixiang Women Development Association, Shanxi, to provide petty loans and consultation for the local poor women. In September, 2013, Diageo entered into an official agreement with Xixiang Women Development Association, Shanxi and donated RMB500 thousand as perpetual petty loan funds. The company helps a large number of poor women improve their living conditions through innovative financial services and comprehensive poverty-relief consultation. It is estimated that in 2015 the fund will help 750 women and 1200 women in 2017.
Due to the limited education resources and economic opportunities obtained by rural women, it’s effective to relieve the poverty by offering petty loans and micro financial services. Fu Lingxiao, the director of public affairs and promotion department in China branch of Diageo Group, noted: “The micro finance for women demonstrates Diageo’s long-term promise to Chinese women. The program provides necessary financial instrument for women through innovative and sustainable methods to assist them in achieving their goals and helping hundreds of thousands Chinese women and their families.”
(Source: Jing’an Times)