Today, and every day, we celebrate women.  In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re featuring five female colleagues and entrepreneurial business partners who bring people together for a better world. We hope these stories and the women behind them inspire us all to unite around gender equality and #PressforProgress.

Empowering Female Farmers in Her Community

Joyce Amongin, Small Scale Farmer, Uganda

In 2017, Joyce Amongin participated in a grower-education program led by our Ugandan subsidiary, Nile Breweries Limited and the nonprofit organizationTechnoServe. Joyce learned how to apply improved farming practices to increase her sorghum yields, knowing that Nile Breweries Limited would offer a guaranteed market and price for her crop. Her unceasing work ethic and willingness to challenge the status quo helped transformed the lives of her family. Joyce has more than doubled her income this year. She now uses the money to pay for her children to attend a local private school.

Not only is Joyce meeting her own goals, she is empowering her neighbors too. Participants in the grower-education program elected Amongin to serve as a model farmer and host demonstrations in her own garden to train other farmers. As a leader who guided others, Amongin demonstrated the value of empowering women in the community and the tremendous potential to transform lives.

Paving the Path for Other Female Brewers

Rachel Gerding, Brewer, Cascade Brewery, Australia

At the Cascade Brewery, Rachel Gerding was the first woman working in production, the first woman to work in fermentation, and the first woman to work in the brewhouse.

One of our female brewers, Rachel Gerding is paving the path for other women who want to have a career in brewing. With the support of the production team, Rachel was the driving force behind the introduction of the first maternity leave policy for production teams at Cascade.

Rachel is a member of our Australian brewing team and works as a brewhouse operator. She is responsible for the intake of raw materials and the brewing process overall. Some of her day-to-day responsibilities include supervising the brewhouse, operating brewhouse equipment, ensuring the brewing vessels are cleaned correctly, and most importantly, delivering beers of good quality. Rachel brews a variety of beers such as Cascade Draught, Goose Island IPA, and Cascade Pale Ale.

Rachel is proud of her 20 + years at the Cascade brewery. It wasn’t easy being a female brewer, but she demonstrated resilience in manual handling and learning almost every machine in the plant. Rachel loves being a brewer and is part of a diverse team leading the brewery, including Quality, Packaging, People and the Plant Manager positions all being held by women. 

Inspiring Female Entrepreneurs

Leonisa Perea, Small Retailer, Colombia

Leonisa Perea, an entrepreneur who runs a small retail shop in Cartegena, Colombia, is an important business partner to Bavaria, Colombia. In 2017, Leonisa participated in Bavaria’s Creciendo por un Sueño program, a new initiative aimed at supporting women retailers to develop and grow their businesses. Empowered with practical business skills training and access to affordable financial services, Leonisa can bring the vision of her business to life while supporting her family.

Leonisa commented, “Bavaria left an indelible mark in my life, by teaching me that dreams come true, but you need to work hard for it. It is easy to dream, but it is easier when you have a helping hand that supports you.”

Our Latin America leader Zone President Ricardo Moreira, President Latin America (Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador) said, “By empowering these women to grow their businesses, we can transform their livelihoods and communities in the long term”.

This year, Creciendo por un Sueño program aims to reach 18,000 women retailers across Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador to support them to achieve their business dreams.

Providing Millions With Access to Safe Water

Christina Choi, Vice President, Global Marketing, Stella Artois

Christina Choi leads Stella Artois as the Vice President of Global Marketing. Building on an MBA from Harvard Business School, Choi joined our company 5 years ago and last year was promoted to lead marketing for one of the world’s leading beer brands.

What is she most proud of? Christina helped develop a partnership between Stella Artois and Water.org that brings water to underserved communities. One in 10 people in the developing world lack access to safe water. This problem disproportionately affects women and children, who spend millions of hours a day collecting water. Last year, Stella Artois announced a four-year commitment with Water.org to help provide 3.5 million people with long-term, sustainable access to clean water by 2020.

“I’m proud of how our team and Water.org has turned this initiative into an incredible success. We’re having a positive impact in a way that makes good business sense,” says Choi.  Since 2015, Stella Artois & Water.org are already on their way to changing the lives of more than 1.6 million people. Under her leadership, Stella Artois went from activating the campaign in 1 market to 10 markets in just 3 years.

Christina believes empowering other women in the corporate environment is a cornerstone of our mission to bring people together.  “Don’t underestimate yourself. Don’t think, ‘I don’t deserve this, or I’m not ready.’ Have confidence and believe in yourself. You’re just as capable and ready as the next person,” says Choi to the next generation of women.

To find out more about Stella Artois and Water.org’s partnership, please visit us athttps://water.org/stellaartois/

Working Towards A Better World

Ingrid De Ryck, Vice President, Procurement & Sustainability, USA

Ingrid De Ryck is the Vice President of Procurement and Sustainability for our North America Zone. She manages a team of over 100 people who lead some of our most significant company initiatives that help drive our sustainability platform.

“Our responsibility as a global brewer is to help bring people together for a better world, now, and in the future.” Take for example our recent partnership with Tesla. As part of the company’s commitment to improving road safety and reducing carbon emissions, we placed an order for 40 Tesla semi-trucks that are fully electric-powered and equipped with autonomous driving capabilities. This commitment will help us reduce our operational carbon footprint by 30% by 2025 – the equivalent of removing nearly 500,000 cars from the road globally each year.

While Ingrid has 16 years of accomplishments between roles in the USA and Belgium, professionally she is most proud of developing people and growing their careers. Her advice to the next generation: "Grab every opportunity you can get. You will never regret what you didn't do. Take the leap! As a leader in the company, make sure to give those opportunities to others. Pay it forward."