A myriad of workplace sexual harassment allegations around the world have have caused some to wonder which companies are actually encouraging, rather than limiting, female professional development.

Diageo, the giant British drinks giant, has set itself the challenge of becoming the country’s best employer of women.

It isn’t just talk either; the company claims that 40 percent of its global executive committee and more than 30 percent of its global senior leadership team are women and that by April 2018 its board of directors will reach gender parity when Ursula Burns becomes non-executive director.

The increasing numbers of women in more senior roles is positive news for gender equality advocates and for the business itself. Diageo’s HR director, Mairéad Nayager, said:

I am proud of the progress we are making at Diageo with gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation and want us to go further. Creating a truly diverse and inclusive culture is not only the right thing to do, it supports the success of our company.

But the company doesn’t stop there. In England and Wales Diageo claims that female employees actually earn 9.8 percent more on average than their male counterparts; reversing the infamous pay gap.

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By GlobalData

However Diageo Scotland, a separate legal entity to Diageo in England and Wales, men make 16.7 percent more on average compared to women because of the higher number of male-dominated manufacturing jobs.

The company is aiming to lower that pay gap by encouraging more women to enter the manufacturing process and by offering extra support, training, and mentoring for female employees in the long term.

Creating a more diverse, equal, and representative workforce is vital for companies to better gain new blood that can help them shake up their business models and stay ahead of the curve.

Out of the box thinking across the entire organisation — a philosophy that begins with colleague relationships — can help companies like Diageo stand out compared to similar companies offering similar products at similar prices.