In a message from PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta, a letter from a long-time PepsiCo associate has inspired the company to ramp things up in terms of how much they do for the African American community.
” She was disappointed in some of PepsiCo’s past decisions and called us to action, saying: ‘PepsiCo at this time has an opportunity to look at our African American employees and community with wide-open eyes and heart, and to work hand-in-hand to address the plagues many of us all too often face each day.’ I couldn’t agree more,” Laguarta said in his open letter. And although the company has made great efforts in the past, they felt that now is the perfect time to do more.
“Today, I am announcing the next step in PepsiCo’s journey for racial equality,” said Laguarta. “A more than $400 million set of initiatives over five years to lift up Black communities and increase Black representation at PepsiCo. These initiatives comprise a holistic effort for PepsiCo to walk the talk of a leading corporation and help address the need for systemic change.”
The initiatives will be split into three pillars: People, Business, and Communities. You can read more about them below.
- Expanding our Black managerial population by 30% by 2025 through internal development and recruitment – we will add more than 250 Black associates to managerial roles by 2025, including adding a minimum of 100 Black associates to our executive ranks. Whilst 14% of our U.S. workforce is Black, we know we need to increase representation in leadership.
- Accelerating our recruitment efforts with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and increasing partnerships with diverse organizations at our core schools.
- Establishing scholarship support for students transitioning from 2-year to 4-year programs, and scaling our existing efforts to support trade/certificate and academic 2-year degrees through community colleges for 400 Black students per year – these funds will also provide wrap-around support, including money for books, transportation, housing, and more.
- Activating associates to help drive ongoing change in our organization, with a focus on internal mentoring, coaching, and continuous development – we know that many of you want to get involved, and we will need your support to see our journey through.
- Mandating company-wide unconscious bias training, followed by continued training aimed at reducing biases in the workplace; including PDR objectives on representation; and requiring diversity on executive candidate slates – we’ll also expand our programs dedicated to supporting Black talent throughout critical career stages.
- More than doubling our spending with Black-owned suppliers; expanding the supplier pipeline through advocacy and outreach; and building supplier capability targeting growth across services, agriculture, sustainable packaging, and operations.
- Using our buying power to create more jobs for Black creators at our marketing agencies and making them part of our content development – we will implement a Creative Agency Diversity Policy modeled on our existing policy for the selection of legal services, including an annual audit.
- Investing $50 million over five years to strengthen local Black-owned businesses.
- Accelerating our support for social programs that impact Black communities, including delivering $6.5 million in community impact grants to address systemic issues; investing $1 million to replicate our holistic community support program, Southern Dallas Thrives, in Chicago; expanding our Food for Good initiative providing jobs and access to nutrition to more Black communities; and increasing our contribution to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to support the struggle for social justice.
- Supporting Black-owned restaurants as part of our Small Businesses Program, including mentoring, management training, and help to obtain financing.
- Investing $5 million to launch a Community Leader Fellowship program for Black non-profit CEOs. We will provide grants to participants’ organizations, executive education, and connections to PepsiCo leaders and partners.
Check out the full details here.