Coworking with Jeanine Dooley

Head of inclusion and diversity for North America at Diageo
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Jeanine Dooley

· 3 min read

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When Jeanine Dooley joined Diageo more than 20 years ago, she worked on the spirits purveyor’s supply-chain team. After years spent leading the company’s ERG for LGBTQ+ employees and allies, she pivoted into her current role leading inclusion and diversity for Diageo North America. She recently spoke with HR Brew about her journey to HR and the diversity programs she leads.

What led you to a role in HR? I spent my career in supply chain. The last project I led was the relocation of the North American headquarters. That was not only a logistical project, but also had a lot to do with what was happening culturally. After the project I led was over, this role of diversity had come up and had been vacant for a while, and I was asked if I would be interested in exploring that as a next step, right before the pandemic.

How would you describe your specific job to someone who doesn’t work in HR? My passion and objectives are to drive engagement throughout Diageo to help everyone feel as if they belong and are comfortable bringing their “whole selves” to work every day. I often say, “We need to make inclusion part of our DNA.” I have 20 years of cross-functional experience, and I leverage that to help colleagues feel they are part of the team no matter who they are or where they work within the company.

What’s the best change you’ve made at a place you’ve worked? It’s so hard to choose just one: We launched the Allyship Series at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 that brought colleagues together to learn and grow. Colleagues challenged each other to confront and learn about their biases. We also launched the #MyNameIs campaign in 2021 across Diageo Global offices that focused on the simple idea of saying a colleague’s name correctly. This is the greatest demonstration of inclusion and an opportunity to learn about them and their culture. Lastly, we launched gender identity and expression guidelines to support our gender-fluid and nonbinary colleagues at all stages of their life, and domestic and family abuse guidelines to support our colleagues during times of need. 

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What’s the most fulfilling aspect of your job? Helping individuals feel empowered, finding that power within themselves that enables them to think more broadly and participate in aspects of the company that feed their mind, body, and soul.

What trend in HR are you most optimistic about? Why? What I’m loving is how much more flexible and agile HR is willing to be. In the past, there were many processes, procedures, guidelines, and rules. Now, we live in unprecedented times, and it’s important for us to test and learn together. I don’t think corporations can expect employees to fit in a certain box—it just doesn’t work that way anymore.

Tell us one new or old HR tech product or platform that’s made your life easier, and why. We have partnered with two vendors, Pilot Coaching and MentorcliQ, that have allowed hundreds of our employees to invest in their careers through professional career coaching and mentoring. In the past, we’ve predominantly looked internally for development, but providing an external lens is helping our employees develop relationships, grow functionally, and feel empowered.

Want to be featured in an upcoming edition of Coworking? Click here to introduce yourself.

HR is challenging. HR news doesn’t have to be.

HR Brew keeps you effective in the fast-changing business environment.