INTERVIEW WITH PEPSICO
Can you tell us a bit about your organisation?
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world, and includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana.
Guiding us is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. Winning with Purpose reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of the business. Raising the bar on diversity is a key part of this, and I was proud to take on a promotion this year to head up Diversity and Inclusion for PepsiCo Europe. My background is in communications and marketing, and now includes HR, and this mix really helps me to deliver in such a rich and multi-faceted role.
Head of Diversity and Inclusion, PepsiCo Europe
Why is diversity, and specifically the advancement of women, so important to your organisation?
Diversity and inclusion is a core PepsiCo value since our inception and has helped propel our company forward for decades, fuelling creativity and ensuring that we are representative of the customer base for which we create and sell our products. Nearly half of us are women and when we unleash the potential of half our world, we’ll be stronger for it.
A particular focus of our efforts has been increasing women’s participation in the workforce. We were the first food and beverage manufacturer in Europe to be awarded the audited Gender Equality European International Standards certification, and today we’re proud to be on our way to achieving our 2025 goal of gender parity in management roles.
We are also working to build the next generation of female talent. To do so we support community programs that empower women globally – from local initiatives to wider investments in the communities we serve via the PepsiCo Foundation
Which diversity initiatives do you have in your organisation?
We offer a wide mix of programs at Sector level, and we spend time listening to our Markets and Functions to understand their context and needs so that we continue to create meaningful programs that support our people and our business growth.
At PepsiCo we look ahead, to see how we can innovative and find new opportunities. In D&I this same approach applies, and we invested in harnessing digital to deliver truly inclusive employee experiences. One success story here is The Next Big Idea – now in its third year and nominated as a finalist in this year’s European Diversity Awards. It sees employees come together to brainstorm around potential products and processes of the future. The game is anonymous. so teams are a mix of seniority, location, age, gender and so on. This is the beauty of it! In 2018 we saw an all female, graduate team win – one of our youngest competing teams.
What role does LEAD play in reaching your organisation’s diversity goals?
We partnered with LEAD early on, as we saw the opportunity to do great things together. Fast forward to 2019 and we’ve achieved exactly this. LEAD is truly inclusive – open to all employees – which triggers organic employee engagement and ambassadorship. It raises awareness and is an outlet for people’s passion. A great example of this is Sara Oliva, from our IT function. After coming to one LEAD meeting she channelled her energy into taking on the role as head of the LEAD Spain chapter. That’s on top of her job, and a recent new addition to the family. People like Sara bring others with her – she’s a true change maker and inspires others in our organisation!
What would you like your employees to take away from the LEAD Network?
Here in PepsiCo we talk about The PepsiCo Way, put simply it’s the way we work and how we get things done. Our culture celebrates how we come together and focus on getting things done fast, whilst voicing our opinions fearlessly. Our diverse teams and our inclusive workplace makes this all possible. People feel empowered and trust those around them, so share their views. To foster this, we offer employees spaces and platforms to have two-way dialogues and connect with people across Europe – from The Next Big Idea online innovation game, to building networks via partners such as LEAD. It starts with every employee. And when we come together, we are stronger – and this is when great things happen!