September 22, 2022  

How PepsiCo is supporting Hispanic associates, communities and businesses

The company’s Racial Equality Journey Hispanic Initiative is committing $172 million to programs aimed at building more equity and inclusion in our workplace and world.

The idea of starting college at the age of 36 filled Yvonne Herrera with doubts. She was nervous about starting over mid-career. She was concerned about the financial stress tuition costs would place on her family. “I needed a degree to get the type of job I wanted,” Yvonne says, “but I was really worried that I wasn’t going to be able to finish.”

An email from PepsiCo eased Yvonne’s mind. Just before her first semester at Palo Alto College in San Antonio, Texas, she found out she received a PepsiCo Foundation Community College Scholarship, which provides financial support for Black and Hispanic students seeking four-year degrees, associate degrees or trade certificates. “I called my husband crying I was so happy,” Yvonne says. “Once I got the scholarship, it was like, ‘Oh my gosh, everything is going to be OK.’”

The scholarship has covered the cost of tuition and books as Yvonne works toward earning her degree in logistics and supply chain management. She is one of the nearly 1,800 scholarship recipients the PepsiCo Foundation has funded to date across 20 U.S. cities. “PepsiCo changed everything for me,” Yvonne says. “Without the help of this scholarship, I don’t think I would have been able to stay in school.”

Yvonne Herrara smiling

Yvonne Herrera is using her PepsiCo Foundation Community College Scholarship
to pursue a degree in logistics and supply chain management.

The Community College program is part of PepsiCo’s Racial Equality Journey Hispanic Initiative, which was announced in 2020. The $172 million in commitments aims to uplift Hispanic people, communities and businesses, and work to dismantle longstanding racial barriers. Yvonne’s story is just one example of the impact the company’s efforts have made over the past two years. 

“Our company has long understood and embraced the value of diversity, equity and inclusion, both for our business and our society,” PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta says. “Guided by our pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) commitment to catalyze positive change for our people and the planet, we recognize our unique opportunity to use our size and scale to drive meaningful and transformative change far beyond our walls.”

Here's a closer look at some of the commitments PepsiCo is making to help build a more equitable and inclusive workplace and world.

People: Creating new opportunities

Increasing PepsiCo’s Hispanic representation: PepsiCo raised Hispanic managerial representation to 9.6% of the workforce as of the second quarter of this year, putting it on track to reach its 2025 goal of 10% to mirror the workforce availability of the communities where it operates. The company has also added more than 50 Hispanic associates to the executive ranks since 2020.

Enabling professional growth for associates: Nearly 70 Hispanic PepsiCo managers have completed BOLD (Breakthrough Organizational Leadership Development), a six-month executive developmental program for Hispanic and Black associates that the company launched in 2020.

Communities: Providing ways to thrive

Granting college scholarships: Along with the scholarship Yvonne received, the PepsiCo Foundation also offers scholarships for students who have completed their associate degree at eligible community colleges and are looking to transfer to a four-year school to earn their bachelor’s degree. Twenty-five new students were awarded $25,000 scholarships this year, and 96% of the 2021 class of recipients are continuing with their undergraduate education.

Creating youth programs in underserved communities: PepsiCo’s Pathways to Readiness and Empowerment Program (PREP) is investing more than $5 million over five years to provide career development workshops for nearly 3,000 young Black and Hispanic people from Chicago’s South and West Sides. PepsiCo Team of Champions is providing opportunities through soccer, committing $1 million over three years to impact athletes and coaches (more than 19,000 so far) by paying for player registration fees, tournament travel expenses, equipment and uniforms.

Supporting brand-led purpose initiatives: Cheetos and Bad Bunny are teaming up for the third consecutive year to support Hispanic communities across the U.S. and Puerto Rico through the $500,000 Deja tu Huella (Leave Your Mark) campaign. Rockstar Energy Drink launched a new platform, Poder Para Mi Gente (Power for My People), which is designed to empower a new generation of people giving back to their communities. Pepsi Stronger Together and Grammy-nominated recording artist Fat Joe are partnering to create a bigger stage for aspiring musicians by launching a scholarship program.

Businesses: Building paths to progress

Unlocking economic opportunities for small businesses: PepsiCo’s Juntos Crecemos (Together We Grow) platform, launched last year, is part of the company’s five-year, $50 million commitment to strengthening Hispanic-owned restaurants, bodegas and carnicerias (meat markets). It has supported more than 500 across the U.S. to date by addressing business challenges and supporting growth through a series of programs such as the Hispanic Digital & Delivery Program, which has supported 76 Hispanic-owned business locations to date by enhancing online presence, delivery logistics, online ordering and marketing practices. The PepsiCo Foundation IMPACTO Hispanic Business Accelerator has provided $2 million in grants and business coaching to 150 businesses across 13 U.S. cities.

Jesus Daza standing in between his sons in the kitchen of their restaurant, 8 Burger.

A grant from the PepsiCo Foundation IMPACTO Hispanic Business Accelerator helped Jesus Daza (center) and his sons expand their Latin-inspired Miami burger restaurant.

Spending with diverse suppliers: PepsiCo’s Supplier Diversity Program, which celebrated 40 years this year, spent more than $250 million with Hispanic suppliers in 2021. That includes farmers, businesses creating packaging materials, and more. A specific focus on diversifying marketing suppliers resulted in adding new Hispanic-owned agencies to the company’s roster, as well as increased spend with existing partners.

Engaging with industry leaders: More than 600 people participated in the fourth annual PepsiCo Hispanic Growth Summit in May. Guest speakers, industry experts, key PepsiCo stakeholders and partners gathered to share insights geared toward helping retailers gain a better understanding of the evolving needs of Hispanic communities. Some of the topics covered during the summit include the current and future state of retail and building authentic relationships with Hispanic shoppers.

For more update on PepsiCo’s progress, read the 2022 Racial Equality Journey Hispanic Initiative Update.