The Hershey Co. has topped Forbes’ list of the “World’s Top Female Friendly Companies,” leading a roster of 300 honorees.
“Guided by The Pathways Project, we continue to advance progress around gender equity – a core component of our greater (diversity, equity and inclusion) strategy,” Alicia Petross, Hershey’s chief diversity officer, said in a release. “At Hershey, we are more than female friendly– we are female forward. From internal initiatives, such as pay equity, our hiring and development strategy and women’s business resource group, to external initiatives, such as the International Women’s Day HerSHEy’s bar and our ongoing community engagement efforts to support all youth, this recognition is a testament to our continued commitment to gender equity across our organization.”
The Pathways Project aims to achieve aggregate dollar-for-dollar pay equity by 2025 for salaried employees worldwide and seeks to increase representation of Hershey’s employee base so that 47 to 50% of employees are women and 30 to 40% are people of color. An additional goal is to have 15 to 22% of “people leader” roles occupied by people of color and 40 to 42% by women.
As of 2020, the company had 48.1% gender diversity worldwide and 37.4% of people leaders globally were women.
Hershey has also formed a women’s business resource group, expanded family-focused benefits such as fertility benefits and paid paternity leave, and established of career development programs for underrepresented groups.
The release noted that since taking over as Hershey’s CEO nearly five years ago,?Michele Buck?– as one of a small percentage of women CEOs in the Fortune 500 – “has led from the top.”
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