Hershey’s ‘female forward policy’ puts it top of the list

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Hershey has 48.1% gender diversity around the world. Pic: The Hershey Company
Hershey has 48.1% gender diversity around the world. Pic: The Hershey Company

Related tags Hershey inclusion

The Hershey Company’s DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) agenda has been acknowledge in a survey by Forbes magazine, which has ranked it #1 on its list of the ‘World's Top Female Friendly Companies’, spearheading a roster of 300 honourees.

In 2020, Hershey co-created The Pathways Project with employees to catalyse courageous conversations, propel progress and put rigorous DEI goals in place – with gender equity playing a critical role. This recognition comes on the tails of the company's 2020 milestone of achieving a dollar-for-dollar aggregate pay equity for both salaried women and people of colour in the United States.

"Guided by The Pathways Project, we continue to advance progress around gender equity – a core component of our greater DEI strategy​," said Alicia Petross, Chief Diversity Officer of The Hershey Company. "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 organisation​."


In addition to pay equity, Hershey said it has made several other notable outcomes to support women including the formation of a women's business resource group, the expansion of family-focused benefits like fertility benefits and paid paternity leave and the establishment of career development programs for underrepresented groups.

As reported in Hershey's 2020 Sustainability Report, the company has 48.1% gender diversity around the world, 37.4 % of people leaders globally are women and the Board of Directors has 42% gender diversity.

Since taking the reins as CEO nearly five years ago, CEO Michele Buck – included in the small percentage of women CEOs in the Fortune 500 – has led from the top to ensure DEI is a priority throughout the company, from the boardroom to production line floors.

The company said it sees diversity as a key source of energy and innovation and is committed to fostering an inclusive environment where all employees around the world can bring their whole selves to work each day.

Related topics Manufacturers Chocolate Hershey

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