Today marks the start of Inclusion Week, which is a chance for us to reflect on exactly what ‘inclusion’ means to us, as a society, as a business and individually. In particular, it’s an opportunity for us to think about the role every single one of us can play to help maintain an inclusive workplace.
We often say, change is the only constant, and the last 12 months have been seismic for inclusion, with the ascendancy of transgender rights, Black Lives Matter and Me Too, to name just a few. And the advent of a global pandemic has showed us that when we have to, we can flex, adapt and live life in a different way.
“So how is this reflected in our working lives at PepsiCo? We want people to bring their full selves to work. It’s obviously good for business, if our teams are representative of our customers and consumers. But more importantly: it’s the right thing to do.”
Everyone should feel valued, respected and feel they belong; this requires cultures to be nurtured and it takes everyone’s efforts to be the change. A truly inclusive workplace must ensure everyone has the opportunity and takes responsibility for both maintaining and evolving that culture – through living those values every day.
We are striving not just to foster a culture of acceptance, but to also take the opportunity to celebrate the impact our diverse culture has on our business. As we continue on our journey at PepsiCo, Inclusion Week is an opportunity to applaud the work done by our passionate employee groups over the past 12 months. They provide support and representation for women, LGBT and BAME colleagues within the business – continually inspiring us to make improvements.
As we evolve and define how we can continue to build a more inclusive culture, it also begs the question: “What can I do?” And that’s why I’m so enthused by the theme of this year’s Inclusion Week: Each One, Reach One. Encouraging us all to take a moment and ‘reach out’ to a colleague we might not have spoken to for a while and see how they are, over a quick coffee or snack on Zoom. It can be anyone, anywhere in our business…bringing people together. Could that be any more apt in a year such as this?