Syl Saller, Diageo's chief marketing and innovation officer, has been awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year Honours list in recognition of her services to business and equality in the workplace.
Saller, who has worked at the drinks giant for two decades and was appointed a member of its global executive committee in 2013, has been a force for change within the business, having led Diageo’s drive for progressive gender portrayal in advertising and its broader commitments to inclusion and diversity.
She also holds influential industry positions, including as president of The Marketing Society since 2016, trustee of the Marketing Academy and as a member of the executive board of the World Federation of Advertisers.
"This honour is testament to the incredible people at Diageo and in the external organisations that I am privileged to work with," Saller said. "I hope that our commitment to creating an environment where people can truly flourish, grow themselves and their businesses while working to accelerate equality makes a real difference to our industry."
Sharon White, incoming chairman of John Lewis Partnership and former chief executive of Ofcom, was also recognised for her contribution to public service in the New Years Honours list – which this year awarded 84 people for "outstanding" contributions to society.
White, who will join John Lewis this year, was made a Dame of the British Empire. She was appointed chief executive of Ofcom in 2014 and has previously worked at the No 10 Policy Unit, the World Bank, the Department for International Development, the Department of Work & Pensions, the Ministry of Justice and the Treasury.
Elizabeth Fagan, non-executive chair of Boots UK, was awarded a CBE for services to gender equality in business. Fagan was the first female managing director of Boots until she stepped down from the role in 2018. She began her career as a chemistry teacher and then as a buyer for Boots, where she worked her way up to the top job.