Fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion because it has always been the right thing to do
Diversity is a source of energy and innovation here at The Hershey Company. We have a long-standing commitment to fostering an inclusive environment where all employees around the world can bring their whole selves to work each day. Our commitment starts with our hiring practices and inclusive culture, and extends to each area of our business from consumer insights, representation in advertising, our supplier diversity program, and the many organizations we support to create a positive impact in our communities around the world.
Our values of togetherness, integrity, making a difference and excellence have guided us to co-create an inclusive work environment because it has always been the right thing to do. We are proud of the unique Hershey culture—one that enables us to hire the best candidates, understand our diverse consumers, create more diverse and inclusive communities, and ultimately live our purpose of making more moments of goodness. We know, however, that we have more work to do with room to improve and grow.
Progressing our diversity, equity, & inclusion strategic framework: The Pathways Project
In 2020, we took time to reflect, and engage employees across every function and level to understand how they were feeling, listen to their experiences and how we, The Hershey Company, could make the greatest impact on advancing inclusion in our workplace and our communities. A diverse group of employees across every part of the business engaged in a co-creation process to refresh our diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy with the goal to make it more actionable and part of our daily work. The result is The Pathways Project, our five-year plan to make our workplace and communities even more inclusive. This refreshed inclusion strategy will create:
- More pathways to JOIN: bringing in a wider range of talent and perspectives
- More pathways to GROW: recognizing and developing talent we haven’t in the past
- More pathways to REACH OUT: showing up for consumers and communities in new ways
We have prioritized increasing overall representation and advancement across minority groups including women, those living with a disability, LGTBQ+ and Veterans, with an accelerated focus on closing the representation gap in Black and Latino employees. We will focus on maintaining our leadership in female representation but work to increase representation of women of color. These areas of focus include development of our workforce especially in Sales, Finance, Information Services and Supply Chain, as well as continuing to increase the diversity of our suppliers as to impact our entire value chain. Inclusion is belonging, respect, being ALL IN, and the great feelings we have about working at Hershey. Inclusion is #InAllOfUs.
Our focus on gender equality
Only six percent of Fortune 500 companies are led by women. We are proud to be one of these companies with Michele Buck serving as our CEO and Chairman of the Board. Our commitment to equity and inclusion is seen throughout our leadership with a board of directors that has 50 percent diverse representation, an executive committee with 44 percent diverse representation and a global workforce with nearly 50 percent gender representation. We lead the industry paying U.S. salaried women and people of color an aggregated dollar for dollar with male colleagues, and we’re not stopping there. We continue to work toward achieving equality at each level of the organization in the U.S. and in our international operations.
Business Resource Groups create opportunities for influence
Our eight employee-led Business Resource Groups (BRGs) are key to our inclusive work environment. The BRGs provide a space for employees to discuss new business opportunities, influence company policy, and develop employees and communities where we do business. Employees are passionate about these groups. In fact, in 2020, one in six employees was actively involved in a BRG. The Hershey Company leadership frequently partners with BRGs to bring new initiatives to life and ensure the interests of all our employees are represented. These BRGs also play an important role in helping to attract and retain people from different communities, providing business insights and connecting people from different parts of the company.
Hershey diversity and inclusion: recognition
We are proud to be recognized as:
- #10 on the Top 50 Companies for Diversity
- #2 on the list of Top Companies for Veterans
- #7 on the list of Top Companies for Latino Executives
- #11 on the list of Top Companies for Philanthropy
- #12 on the list of Top Companies for LGBTQ Employees
- #14 on the list of Top Companies for Executive Diversity Councils
- A Top Company for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) (non-ranked)
- A top-rated workplace for LGTBQ+ employees with a 100 percent ranking by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index for seven consecutive years (2015-2021).
- We are also frequently recognized by various organizations like Forbes and the National Organization on Disability for being a best employer for women and LGTBQ+ employees, and a leading employer for people living with disabilities.