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Swa Mistry moves to Lion Beer

Swa Mistry moves to Lion Beer

Congratulations to Swaroopa Mistry on her new role as National Customer Marketing Manager at Lion Beer.

Swa has extensive drinks industry experience at companies including Pernod Ricard, Accolade Wines and McWilliam's Wines.

"I am very excited to start at Lion, it’s always been a company that I’ve admired for its culture and work ethic. It is also great to be a part of two very high functioning teams, the newly formed Customer Marketing team and our EDG sales team," Swa said. "I get to continue to work closely with the customer and our internal marketing teams to find category and shopper solutions, which has always been my passion."

Swa is equally passionate about humanising workplaces and industries via behaviours that encourage diversity and inclusion.

She is a mentor in the Beacon Foundation's My Road program, which gives young people in rural, regional and remote areas of Australia the opportunity to engage with volunteer mentors to help them better understand career paths available to them and the changing world of work.

Mistry has also played an active role in The Drinks Association's Diversity & Inclusion Council, contributing to the success of its first two events: a Network Breakfast featuring Dr Jennifer Whelan, founding director of Psynapse Psychometrics, discussing "Leading in an Age of Inclusion"; and a Leadership Summit that gathered executives and MDs to celebrate the power of inclusion in September.

Drinks Central sat down with Swa to discuss her new role and her commitment to mentoring and inclusion in the drinks industry.

What are some of the highlights of your new role?

One of the most exciting aspects is that it is a newly formed team that focuses on strategic management of the Beer category – the scope is very wide and I get to work with a group that needs to think creatively and expansively every day. It is a highly cross-functional role so I get to work with a range of internal and retailer stakeholders, all of whom share a common love for beer. 

What do you love about working in the Australian drinks industry?

I love the passion and the characters that our industry seems to inspire! There is a real sense of camaraderie and conviviality that we all share. I’ve been lucky enough to work on some great brands across multiple categories in my time here. I also respect our collective ambition to drive our industry forward and ensure we are backing the right initiatives to inspire positive change.

Why did you become involved in The Drinks Association's D&I Council? 

I’ve long been a keen observer of the great work that Women in Drinks and D&I council have been doing over the years. I think it is so important for the health of our industry so when the opportunity came to be a part of the D&I ambassador group I jumped at it. It’s a cause that is close to my heart and I felt I had something to contribute. 

Have you seen significant progress in D&I in the drinks industry?

Absolutely. We’ve come a long way as an industry to make D&I an agenda that is top of mind at every level within most organisations. It’s not only about attracting diverse high-calibre talent, or removing barriers to entry, but also about having initiatives and the right environment to nurture this talent and retain it as people progress through their careers, and through life in general.

What have been some of the D&I council highlights for you?

The two events hosted last year by the D&I council were my key highlights so far. It was very inspiring to see senior leadership across the industry come together in the D&I leadership summit last September to sign up to a plan to make our industry more inclusive.

The official nod that the 2018 Australian Drinks Awards gave via two new award categories - Gender Equity and Inclusive & Diverse Workplace - were also a great testament to how far we’ve come as an industry to really cement the need for a widespread acknowledgment and acceptance of D&I initiatives.

You're involved in a My Road mentoring program run by the Beacon Foundation -  what drew you to the program?

As I was progressing with my work in the D&I council I realised I wanted to do more to help the next generation be more confident as they enter the work force.

As a young student that migrated to Australia with no support here I really struggled to find good mentors or role models to help shape my career in my formative years.

While I was searching for avenues to contribute towards I came across the amazing work done by My Road mentoring program run by the Beacon Foundation, which gives young people the opportunity to engage with volunteer mentors from many different jobs and industries.

It has been so rewarding for me as every month I remotely connect with young Australians across the country – I believe the exchange of learning and information goes both ways! I encourage everyone to get involved in programs such as these, they do such amazing work and can only function with a highly-engaged volunteer army!