Out of 300 honorees, the Hershey Company was ranked first in Forbes’ World’s Top Female Friendly Companies after showing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. According to the company’s Sustainability Report released last year, Hershey showed 48.1% of gender diversity in offices around the world, with 37.4% comprising of women leaders. The Board of Directors also presents 42% gender diversity.
In 2020, the food company spearheaded an initiative with the employees called The Pathways Project, which pushed forward a number of DEI goals and projects. This includes establishing a women’s business resource group and supporting women employees through family-focused benefits, among other things.
It had also achieved a milestone in the same year, where Hershey achieved dollar-for-dollar aggregate pay equity for salaried women and people of color in the U.S. By 2025, they aim to expand pay equity for employees worldwide.
“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 organization.”
Hershey’s CEO Michele Buck has been making sure DEI is a priority in the company for the past 5 years she’s held the position. She is among the small percentage of female CEO in the Fortune 500.