Purpose, Strategy & Culture

Elevating, Celebrating and Uplifting Women and Girls Globally This International Women’s Day

Our international initiatives to bolster and celebrate women – on International Women’s Day and beyond.
Santhi Ramesh
Chief Marketing Officer, Hershey International

Key Takeaways:

    • We are proud to recognize, honor and uplift women and girls—both in celebration of International Women's Day (IWD) and throughout the year.
    • We are showcasing the power of women around the world to give them a platform to keep achieving greatness.
    • Our global activations include meaningful partnerships, celebratory packaging and inspirational storytelling—alongside our ongoing efforts to advance gender equity.

Every year, International Women’s Day marks a time to appreciate, elevate, and celebrate women and their accomplishments. While this observance serves as an important opportunity to recognize women, at Hershey, we have an unwavering belief in celebrating all women and girls—their strengths, accomplishments and potential—all year round.

We believe that when women are empowered, they lift up their communities with them. As a company, we have been on an intentional journey of celebrating and investing in women in our workplace and communities through equal pay, career development, representation in leadership, working with women-owned businesses through our supply chain and supporting impactful non-profit partners.

In honor of International Women’s Day, I’d like to share more about how we are elevating women and their voices through celebratory packaging, strategic partnerships and inspirational storytelling this month and beyond.

Recognizing Sheroes Around the World

For more than 100 years, our beloved Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars have been a part of special moments of goodness in peoples’ lives. Because of this powerful legacy, our flagship brand offers a powerful vehicle for storytelling. With this in mind, in 2020 we launched female-forward packaging with our ‘HER-SHE’ wrappers in Brazil after the team recognized that Hershey’s is the only brands with both ‘Her’ and ‘She’ in the name. Now, two years later, the award-winning #HerSHE campaign has grown to seven markets around the world to make invisible women visible.

In our international markets, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar wrappers—which have been designed by female artists and creatives—will transform into a tribute and celebration of cultural female icons, showcasing the accomplishments and the impact these changemakers have made in their respective countries; from Canada’s Erica Jacobs, founder and chair of 100% Skate Club, India’s Pooja Taparia, champion of children’s rights, Mexico’s Poet Lia Nereida to Brazil’s Scientist Mellanie Fontes-Dutra. The campaign is aimed at making the invisible woman visible.

For the third consecutive year, we are pleased to continue our partnership with HP, leveraging HP Indigo digital printing software to produce rich, eye-catching wrappers which also keep chocolate safe and airtight. The bars will feature a QR code that encourages consumers to learn more about the many contributions of women throughout history and the women highlighted on each bar.

Enabling Storytelling Through Digital and Social Media

As part of our commitment to support, propel and highlight female entrepreneurs and changemakers, we are also working to advance gender equity through innovative digital partnerships. We are amplifying the stories of unsung “SHEROES” who are making an impact on society on social media including Instagram virtual galleries. Working hand-in-hand with Entreprenista, a women-owned media company and membership community, and EnTribe, a social media and influencer platform, we are spotlighting inspiring businesswomen across the globe through a user-generated social media campaign, amplified by the market-specific hashtags #HerSHE and #HERforSHE.

We will also be partnering with Entreprenista to recognize five trailblazers each from Canada, Brazil, India and Mexico. Recipients will receive a scholarship to the Entreprenista League, a community of women business owners, investors, co-founders and thought leaders that are given access to top tier business tools and solutions.

Supporting the Next Generation of Women Leaders

To help further amplify our women-forward storytelling efforts, this year, we’re proud to donate to and partner with Girl Up, a non-profit organization committed to advancing girls’ skills, rights and opportunities to be leaders. Founded by the United Nations Foundation in 2010, Girl Up’s leadership development programs have impacted more than 125,000 girls through 5,000 Clubs in 130 countries and all 50 U.S. states, inspiring a generation of girls to be a force for gender equality and social change.

We believe that women empowerment starts at a young age—by helping girls find (and use) their voice, strength and authenticity, Girl Up is playing a critical role in nurturing and defining the next generation of women leaders—on a global platform.

Celebrating Women – Today and Everyday

While our work isn’t done, we are proud of where we are today. We were recently ranked #1 on Forbes’ list of the World’s Top Female Friendly Companies and are one of the few Fortune 500 companies with a female CEO. Within our organization, 48 percent of our global workforce is comprised of women and by 2025, we aim to achieve aggregate dollar-for-dollar pay equity for salaried employees worldwide.

Our International Women’s Day campaigns celebrate women and their impact while communicating the core values that we share with our consumers. As a company, we’re dedicated to doing our part and contributing to the greater conversation around gender equity which asserts female-forward empowerment and inspires people around the world to celebrate women and girls.