PepsiCo Plans to Empower Hispanics with $172 Million Investment Initiative

PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta announced the launch of a $172 million set of initiatives over the next five years to support Hispanic talent within PepsiCo and the communities they serve. This includes attracting, retaining, and developing the best Hispanic talent and fostering an inclusive culture that allows Hispanic associates to thrive, the CEO said in a message posted on the company’s website.

Recognizing that COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on black and brown communities across the country, PepsiCo began its Racial Equality Journey project in June to support black people, and now the company is expanding its diversity and inclusion efforts toward Hispanics.

“This effort is very personal to me. Beyond the deep commitment to equality inherited from my parents, having lived for several years as a Spanish-speaking immigrant in the U.S., I have grown to identify with this country’s vibrant, diverse Hispanic community. When I became CEO, I vowed to use my position to make the road easier for Hispanics and other groups impacted by systemic inequality, and that’s exactly what PepsiCo’s Racial Equality Journey is all about,” said Laguarta.

Within the five-year plan the company will also invest in initiatives that help prepare people for future work, identify and support Hispanic-owned businesses that can help accelerate PepsiCo’s business, and form dedicated Hispanic business units in both the North American Beverage Business (PBNA) and the Food Business (PFNA), focused on meeting the diverse needs of Hispanic consumers in the U.S. and Canada.

In 2020, the company also aims to spend $275 million with Hispanic suppliers.

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Laguarta said he and his senior leadership team have spent the past several months engaging in conversations and listening to PepsiCo associates, including the leadership of the Hispanic Employee Resource Group (ERG), Adelante, as well as Hispanic community leaders and other advisors. ” We also formed a task force in partnership with the Global Diversity & Engagement team to determine how PepsiCo could best serve the Hispanic community in the U.S.,” said the company’s CEO.

As a result of those conversations, they developed the following plan to catalyze positive change for people, businesses, and communities.

  1. For people, it means a focus on increasing Hispanic middle management representation at PepsiCo.
  2. For businesses, it means building a network of resilient Hispanic-owned companies.
  3. For communities, it means providing access to higher education to unlock opportunities for Hispanics across America.

“As we embark on this new chapter of our Racial Equality Journey, we’re mindful of the need to ensure our methodology and approach remain consistent and convey an ambition commensurate with the scale of the challenges and opportunities. That is why our effort to support Hispanic communities focuses on the same three strategic pillars as our effort to support Black communities announced in June,” said Laguarda in his message.

PepsiCo will focus on increasing its U.S. Hispanic middle management representation with targeted recruitment, retention, and development, along with educational support and increasing cultural competency through specialized training.

The plan will be developed as follows:

  1. Expanding Hispanic managerial representation to 10% of its workforce by 2025 by hiring 120 Hispanic managers, including 50 Hispanic executives; PepsiCo recently released workforce demographics data and will be updated twice a year to hold themselves accountable.
  2. Accelerating diverse recruitment efforts in partnership with national and local Hispanic organizations, plus minority-owned search firms.
  3. Retaining and developing their current Hispanic associates through targeted mentorship and capability building programs
  4. Providing educational support through coaching and professional skills development.
  5. Building inclusion capability at all levels through increased training, building awareness, and leadership development.

When it comes to business, they plan to help build a network of resilient Hispanic-owned companies by fortifying their current spending and growing organically with Hispanic-owned suppliers, partners, and small businesses.

This means aiming to increase relevant investments and expand capacities by:

  • Building on this year’s $275 million investment in Hispanic-owned businesses by establishing relationships between top Hispanic-owned companies and PepsiCo buyers, while also expanding Hispanic-owned supplier capability in areas such as agriculture and sustainable packaging.
  • Investing $87 million in PepsiCo’s Hispanic Business Units to further support their Hispanic customers.
  • Using their scale to increase Hispanic representation across our suppliers, marketing agencies, and professional service providers.
  • Investing $50 million over five years to strengthen Hispanic-owned businesses by supporting business development, providing access to capital not available through traditional sources, and providing tools to address structural barriers to success.

To support Hispanic communities, PepsiCo will provide access to higher education to create opportunities for Hispanics across the United States. They plan to invest $35 million over five years, which will focus on:

  • Expanding the existing two-year/trade certificate Community College Scholarship program to include additional scholarships for Hispanic students.
  • Providing scholarships for students transitioning from 2- to 4-year programs in their core headquarter locations: New York, Dallas, and Chicago.
  • Funding community organization partners that deliver programs to uplift the Hispanic community.
  • Expanding the flagship Food for Good program to provide jobs and access to nutritious food in more Hispanic communities.