Today marks International Women’s Day, a day that reminds us there is still much to be done in the pursuit of gender equality.
At PepsiCo, creating a diverse and inclusive workforce is essential for our business to work at its best. As we face new challenges in an increasingly complex world, we rely on a diverse team of individuals to drive our business forward.
We have a strong commitment to increasing female representation in our workforce, particularly within senior management roles, and we have a number of development initiatives in place to pursue this ambition.
Today, on International Women’s Day, I wanted to share four ways in which women can drive their careers forward, using examples from within PepsiCo to inspire others.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a mentor: A mentor can be a fantastic sounding board to help you through challenges you may encounter in your career. But don’t always expect your employer to provide one for you. I guarantee there are plenty of women in your organisation who would jump at the chance to mentor you if you simply asked.
Networking is key: Networks play a crucial role in building your internal profile, while also providing opportunities to broaden your influence both inside and outside your organisation. Wherever possible, attend events or even network digitally - webinars are a great chance to connect with colleagues. PepsiCo, for example, has a knowledge sharing platform called the Global Brain specifically for this. Be a change agent
: For me, one of the main ways to tackle diversity is to challenge the status quo. If your company doesn’t have a gender diversity plan in place, be the change agent and make one happen. Ivanka Janssens, Supply Chain Vice President across Europe, Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa has just started a PepsiCo’s Women in Supply Chain Network. She recognised that women, just like me, wanted to build successful careers in manufacturing but weren’t confident that they could in a traditionally male-dominated part of the industry. I now lead one of the workstreams; the Women in Supply Chain Global Brain platform. The plan is that we come together regularly to collaborate and share experiences and knowledge to overcome challenges.
This initiative is in addition to our longstanding Strategies For Success programme, which I attended three years ago. It focuses on helping talented women maximize their careers at PepsiCo. The programme involves one-on-one coaching and a two-day programme focused on career development themes, such as self-belief, stakeholder management and creating a personal brand. Attending this workshop has had a significant impact on my career path, making me more confident in my own ability.
Find man-bassadors to be your champions: The journey to gender diversity must include everyone, not just women. For too long, women have been talking to women about these issues. We need to make it a priority to bring men on the journey with us.
As part of PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose commitments, PepsiCo globally is continuing to take ambitious steps to achieve an equal number of men and women in leadership roles by 2025.
You can find out more about some of our initiatives here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o1HbV8Xk6w