HERSHEY, Pa.—The Hershey Company announced it ranks No. 3 on DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity annual list.
According to Hershey, the recognition is a testament to Hershey's longstanding commitment to advance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. The candy and snack maker's latest initiatives include Future CEO, Say Hola and enhanced supplier diversity programs.
"At Hershey, we know that diversity, equity and inclusion are key to long-term success—not just for our workforce but for the communities where we live and work," said Alicia Petross, chief diversity officer, The Hershey Company. "Recognition on DiversityInc's flagship list—amongst best-in-class champions of DEI—reaffirms and fuels our commitment to advance these initiatives."
Hershey's efforts are guided by The Pathways Project, the company's five-year plan to make Hershey more diverse and inclusive by bringing in a wider range of talent and perspectives, recognizing and developing talent, and showing up for consumers and communities in new ways. The company's employee-affinity program, Business Resource Groups (BRGs), are key to implementing Hershey's DEI strategy throughout the organization.
"I am proud to be a part of a company which turns to employees to influence DEI strategy and ensure we're showing up in the right ways," said Regina Hughes, Latino BRG co-lead and director of finance, M&A, THX, The Hershey Company. "Within Hershey, the Latino BRG serves as an inclusive community where Latinos are empowered to be their best selves, advance their careers and celebrate heritage and culture."
Hershey credits this recognition to prioritizing—and investing in—its workforce and community initiatives, proactively fostering an equitable environment where employees can feel a sense of belonging. Notable results from Hershey's DEI initiatives include:
- Recruitment and supplier diversity: Hershey believes it's crucial to foster a workforce and supply chain which reflect its consumer base. By 2030, Hershey will quadruple its investments with diverse suppliers, helping to promote economic equality and opportunity for diverse-owned businesses.
- Gender and pay equity: In 2019, Hershey achieved 1:1 gender pay equity, and in 2021, 1:1 aggregate people-of-color pay equity for salaried employees on an aggregated basis in the U.S. By 2025, Hershey strives to achieve aggregate dollar-for-dollar pay equity for salaried employees worldwide.
- Fostering the next generation: Hershey is committed to fostering a more just and equitable future by supporting equitable access to education and supporting youth development programs. Honoring the legacy of its founder, Milton Hershey, the company has carried on the tradition of investing in and supporting Milton Hershey School, which provides a free K-12 education to children from marginalized communities. Most recently, the company hosted Future CEO—a virtual mentorship summit hosted by Hershey leadership—to support the next generation of women leaders.