Black History Month employee profile: Cori Phillips, commercial operations specialist

During Black History Month this February, we are spotlighting some of the employees that help make Molson Coors great. Today we speak with Cori Phillips, commercial operations specialist, and a member of Molson Coors' Black Employee Voices (BEV) employee resource group. Based in Bentonville, Ark., where she works with our Walmart team, Cori has been with Molson Coors for five-and-a-half years.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month is every day to me. I always celebrate being prideful in who you are and that’s what being Black means to me.

How do you celebrate and recognize Black History Month?

I recognize by watching classic Black movies like "The Color Purple" or "Black Panther." Celebrating Black creatives is inspiring.

How can others celebrate and honor Black History Month?

First, try to get invited to a Black BBQ, if weather permits… you don’t need anything else. But all kidding aside, being honest about how strong of an ally you are and then improving on that is key. Our past Inclusion in Action Series videos has great resources! Also, try learning a new fact about a Black historian, author, inventor, director or fellow coworker just once a week this month and share with colleagues, friends or family.

Celebrating diverse voices shouldn’t be limited to one month. How can people be strong allies throughout the entire year?

Make sure you are recognizing diverse employees on your team to give them visibility to the organization. Kudos are the best! I would also say, if you are a hiring manager, include diverse candidates on your interview slates, very simple and gives everyone an opportunity.

What motivated you to join BEV?

I was always passionate about recruiting diverse talent for the company and I saw that BEV would join some recruiting events with HR, specifically at the annual TMCF Student Leadership Conference. I originally joined in 2018 to support with recruiting, but I am in awe at how we have grown and excited for 2022!

What has been your proudest moment as a member of BEV?

My proudest moment would have to be collaborating with the Learning and Development (L&D) committee of the BEV Field Chapter on our first annual BeerMate Competition. We started with about 20 talented SMPs then selected 4 impressive SMPs to present an impactful program using BeerMate to our Senior Leadership team. I know two of those programs inspired ideas for marketing. I love to see our ERGs making an impact on the organization. I hope to work on a competition supporting chain this year!

Throughout your time at Molson Coors, how has the culture evolved? What can people do to improve the culture?           

I think the culture has evolved for the better but can continue to grow! The most important aspect of building culture is holding leaders accountable and having those uncomfortable conversations at times. Second, listening with empathy, it sounds easy but sometimes we are so busy with our own lives we can forget in the moment. Last, taking meaningful action towards your goals on building culture, we can say it but also must do it. These are actions we can all improve on, even me.

How do resources such as the BEV Field Chapter/BEV strengthen our first value of putting people first? How do they strengthen all of our values?

Having employee-led ERGs is kind of the definition of putting people first. Being the lead of an ERG gives you the opportunity to listen to any concerns employees may be facing and then taking those concerns to a leader in the organization that can make improvements. Then those leaders can choose to be bold and decisive by taking accountability to learn more about employees, then celebrating those actions they took to improve!           

What is a book, movie, podcast you’d recommend people read/watch/listen to learn about Black History?

PBS has great resources; I watched a great documentary on the history of Black business titled “Boss: The Black Experience in Business”. It gives you a true story of the achievements and obstacles of Black entrepreneurs and at the same time giving you an accurate story of Black history in America.

What would you say to Black people who are interested in pursuing a career at Molson Coors/beverage industry?

I would say MCBC is a really fun place to work with amazing people and lots of perks, but in reality, we still have improvements to make, like most companies in America, from a DEI perspective. Inclusion is a worldly issue, an American issue, a collective issue, and we all can do better in our personal and professional lives by lifting voices from groups of people that have been disenfranchised that don’t look like ourselves.