At PepsiCo, we thrive because of our diversity. Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion is a business imperative and part of our values because we know that the success of our business is inextricably linked to the success of the communities where we live and work.

I’ve been with PepsiCo for 24 years and have been privileged to work on the company’s Affirmative Action strategy for the past 10 years. My experience spanned roles in finance, sales, and currently, in our legal department, which has provided a strong network of internal and external stakeholders who provide valuable insights and guidance on this critical agenda.

The Affirmative Action work is multi-faceted and requires a specific skill set and aptitude, including intellectual agility, a passion for listening and in-depth data analytics, and for one to remain unbiased and allow the data to tell the story. Business leaders need accurate, reliable, and consistent data which inform their strategy and determine real-time courses of action. Accuracy in data analytics and insights are integral and invaluable.

Our affirmative action plans are designed strategically to analyze trends in hiring, terminations, transfers, and promotions to highlight opportunities for integrating local talent pools to enhance our diverse workforce

Being able to deliver reliable and consistent data starts with a strong understanding of the talent market and how our workforce should reflect the workforce availability in the communities where we operate. This is vital. Our affirmative action plans are designed strategically to analyze trends in hiring, terminations, transfers, and promotions to highlight opportunities for integrating local talent pools to enhance our diverse workforce.

Each year we develop several affirmative actions plans to identify goals for a variety of groups, including minorities, women, protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. We established an integrated process with a crossfunctional team of leaders in talent acquisition and human resources and engaging the local community with outreach programming. This integrated process reflects our ambition to continuously improve and drive growth through a dynamically diverse workforce.

PepsiCo has provided me with a priceless gift of a career that enables me to channel my passion into purpose: driving awareness and delivering results. This is also evident in my engagement with our “You Belong Here” Disability Awareness campaign which in its 6th year continues to elevate that we are a company that provides a safe and open space where all voices are heard and actively listened to, and our associates are seen and valued. From the onset, I had immediate support from my leadership to be heavily involved in this campaign and it brings such validation to continuing this important initiative.

We all have a responsibility to foster a culture of inclusion. As it pertains to individuals with a disability, we’ve seen where Voluntary Disability Self-identification is a challenge for many organizations. As a member of PepsiCo’s EnAble Employee Resource Group - the Individuals with Disability and caregiver employee resource group - I’ve learned a great deal about how to engage and approach individuals with disabilities. Thanks to EnAble, we’ve developed a series of video content in partnership with human resources where associates shared their personal stories. The content was transformative—a glorious authentic celebration of the wonderful and productive contributions that individuals with disabilities bring to our PepsiCo family every day. We have a broad array of employees with disabilities and caregivers who are shining examples of our inclusive culture, with flourishing careers, enabling PepsiCo to deliver on its mission to Create Smiles with Every Sip and Every Bite.

This work is only a glimpse into the many examples that illustrate diversity, equity, and inclusion as PepsiCo’s strengths. We remain committed to embodying the richness of diversity among our customers, consumers and communities because when we do that, we know we can be an even Faster, Stronger, and Better PepsiCo.