PepsiCo Makes Major Commitment to Investing in Black Talent And Suppliers

PepsiCo released an amazing plan that outlines specific actions for investing in black individuals, businesses and communities. I love this because it directly aligns with our mission. I also love this because it is not just a statement saying they are investing money with Black Lives Matter or just giving a vague statement of support because of the current climate. Here is what Ramon L. Laguarta (chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer of PepsiCo) outlined in a Fortune article.

“So today, I am announcing the next step in PepsiCo’s journey for racial equality: a more than $400 million set of initiatives over five years to lift up Black communities and increase Black representation at PepsiCo. These initiatives make up a holistic effort for PepsiCo to walk the talk of a leading corporation and help address the need for systemic change. 

Our journey will now focus on three pillars—People, Business, and Communities. 


When it comes to people, we are focusing on increasing representation; recruitment; and education, internships and apprenticeships. That means dramatically rethinking our approach to talent, starting by:

  • Expanding our Black managerial population by 30% by 2025 through internal development and recruitment—we will add more than 250 Black associates to managerial roles by 2025, including adding a minimum of 100 Black associates to our executive ranks. While 14% of our U.S. workforce is Black, we know we need to increase representation in leadership.
  • Accelerating our recruitment efforts with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and increasing partnerships with diverse organizations at our core schools.
  • Establishing scholarship support for students transitioning from two-year to four-year programs and scaling our existing efforts to support trade/certificate and academic two-year degrees education through community colleges for 400 Black students per year—these funds will also provide wraparound support, including money for books, transportation, housing, and more.
  • Activating associates to help drive ongoing change in our organization, with a focus on internal mentoring, coaching, and continuous development—we know that many of you want to get involved, and we will need your support to see our journey through.
  • Mandating companywide unconscious-bias training, followed by continued training aimed at reducing biases in the workplace; including PDR objectives on representation; and requiring diversity on executive candidate slates—we’ll also expand our programs dedicated to supporting Black talent throughout critical career stages. 


When it comes to business, we will leverage our scale and influence across our suppliers, marketing agency partners, and customer base to increase representation and strengthen Black-owned businesses. That means step changes in our spending and approach to partnerships, starting by:

  • More than doubling our spending with Black-owned suppliers, expanding the supplier pipeline through advocacy and outreach, and building supplier capability targeting growth across services, agriculture, sustainable packaging, and operations.
  • Using our buying power to create more jobs for Black creators at our marketing agencies and making them part of our content development—we will implement a Creative Agency Diversity Policy modeled on our existing policy for the selection of legal services, including an annual audit.
  • Investing $50 million over five years to strengthen local Black-owned businesses.


When it comes to our communities, we’re working to drive long-term change by addressing systemic barriers to economic opportunity, investing an incremental $20 million over five years. That means broadly increasing our efforts to create opportunity and advance economic empowerment for Black Americans, starting by:

  • Accelerating our support for social programs that impact Black communities, including delivering $6.5 million in community impact grants to address systemic issues; investing $1 million to replicate our holistic community support program, Southern Dallas Thrives, in Chicago; expanding our Food for Good initiative providing jobs and access to nutrition to more Black communities; and increasing our contribution to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to support the struggle for social justice.
  • Supporting Black-owned restaurants as part of our Small Businesses Program, including mentoring, management training, and help obtaining financing.
  • Investing $5 million to launch a Community Leader Fellowship program for Black nonprofit CEOs. We will provide grants to participants’ organizations, executive education, and connections to PepsiCo leaders and partners.”

This is a great plan. The only thing that is missing is where people can go to get access to the programs and investment mentioned.

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