Diversity – One of PepsiCo’s Most Competitive Advantages

by Savoy Staff

By Steven Williams, Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo Foods North America

Growing up, my father always reminded my siblings and me that history favors the bold. Fast forward to today, and I have the great honor of serving as CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America, PepsiCo’s snack and convenient foods business that includes Frito-Lay North America and Quaker Foods North America. We may be known for bold flavors, but the company also has a strong legacy of bold leadership in creating and nurturing a diverse workforce.

PepsiCo was built on the belief that we thrive because of our diversity. The steps we take together to advance a more united, equitable and inclusive tomorrow are foundational to our company. In the 1940s, PepsiCo was a pioneer in hiring Black salespeople. And in the 1950s, we were among the first companies to have a woman on our board of directors. In the 1980s, we were trailblazers in multicultural marketing. Building diverse teams and inclusive environments continues to be an integral part of PepsiCo’s culture and one of our most potent competitive advantages. We continue to foster diversity by making external commitments around gender parity, pay equity and prosperity for all our communities.

While PepsiCo has made progress in the fight against systemic racism and inequality, this journey is not over and there is still much work to be done. In the spirit of transparency, PepsiCo was one of the first companies to proactively and publicly share our workplace demographics. Anyone is welcome to view this information on pepsico.com and see our journey to build inclusive teams across the world that are composed of people with differing perspectives, experiences and backgrounds.

PepsiCo operates in more than 200 countries and territories globally, which means our potential for impact is far-reaching and powerful. It is with this knowledge that PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta announced our Racial Equality Journey commitments in June 2020. These commitments are both a next step and a new beginning for PepsiCo’s work to impact structural change across all the communities we serve.

The PepsiCo Racial Equality Journey commitments are comprised of a Black Initiative and a Hispanic Initiative that focus on catalyzing positive change for people, businesses and communities. As part of this journey for equality, PepsiCo has dedicated more than $845 million to Black and Hispanic communities over the next five years. These initiatives include $100 million to support Black and Hispanic small businesses, more than 4,000 college scholarships to Black and Hispanic students, and will help feed our talent pipeline with new PepsiCo hires of Black and Hispanic managers and executives.

Additionally, PepsiCo’s partnership with a diverse supplier base is working to drive economic development within the communities we serve. We are committed to purchasing from suppliers that represent our diverse employees, consumers, retail customers and communities. Our partnerships with minority-owned and women-owned suppliers have allowed us to create a world-class supplier team, which provides the innovation, impact and insights into the needs of our diverse consumers and retailers, and is key to our success in the marketplace.

PepsiCo Foods North America is a committed leader on this journey, as demonstrated by the numerous commitments from our respective brands:

  • Doritos launched an #AmplifyBlackVoices campaign this summer, pledging $1 million to amplify and provide a platform for Black artists around the country.
  • Cheetos recently launched the “Deja tu Huella” or “Leave your Mark” campaign, in which the brand is contributing $500,000 to the Hispanic community.
  • And, Aunt Jemima was rebranded as we move forward on our racial equality journey.

With our Frito-Lay headquarters based in Plano, Texas, we’ve made a commitment to Black-owned businesses in Dallas, with more than $100,000 going to food and beverage businesses in southern Dallas, along with a commitment of $1 million annually over the next five years to further support local Black and Hispanic businesses in the area.

At this pivotal moment in history, bold actions are essential in creating a better tomorrow. It is critically important for leading corporations to truly walk the talk, use our global reach and address the need for systemic change. The road to equality is a long one, but I’m proud of the bold strides PepsiCo Foods North America and PepsiCo continue to make and am confident that the destination will be worth it.



0 comment

You may also like