Hershey creates new Future CEO initiative to further support women across its workforce

The US-based Hershey Company has confirmed plans to create a new Future CEO scheme as part of measures designs to invest in supporting career progression and empowerment for women across its organisation, writes Neill Barston.

As the business explained, the move has been timed around celebrations for ‘International Day of the Girl Child’ which will include a number of initiatives around the world, as the company retains its position as the top-rated international female friendly work environment.

Consequently, the business has announced a programme designed to ‘recognise, honour and uplift women and girls around the world,’ with awareness raising initiatives, as well as partnerships and mentorship drives.

As part of the monthlong campaign, the company is proud to announce a new ‘Future CEO’ program and additional support for nonprofit partners Girl Up and Girls on the Run to help drive mentorship for young girls, reverse mentorship for Hershey leaders and ensure there is a pipeline for an even more diverse workplace in the future.

“At Hershey, we understand the power of inclusivity, equity and diversity and believe we have an important role in recognizing and empowering diverse voices around the world,” said Michele Buck, CEO of The Hershey Company. “On this day when we celebrate young women and girls all over the world – and every day – we are committed to supporting young women and girls by helping them harness their potential and giving them a platform to achieve their dreams. By providing access to opportunities and resources, we’re also helping build a workforce of the future that reflects the global landscape and creates a more inclusive world.”F

In addition, its young CEO programme will start immediately, alongside additional Hershey international leaders’ and employees’ support in an existing Girl Up mentorship programme. It will culminate in March surrounding International Women’s Day via a virtual event hosted by Hershey CEO Michele Buck and additional women leaders. The company added that it believes that the scheme  will provide powerful lessons for the company and its leadership team through reverse mentorship, allowing them to better understand the next generation and their thinking in learning from these young leaders.

To bring the program to life, Hershey is partnering with Girl Up and Girls on the Run to identify the ‘future CEOs of Hershey’ – driven, passionate young girls whom others can look up to and who have the potential and drive to become one of the next great women leaders in business. There will be 10 participants total, five from Hershey’s key international markets including Mexico, Brazil, Canada, India and the Philippines (identified by Girl Up) and five from the U.S. (identified by Girls on the Run). Each participant will also receive a scholarship to further their education and develop their leadership skills.

With 48% of Hershey’s global workforce comprised of women, carving a path for young women and girls is non-negotiable. To make a lasting impact and influence outside its own walls, the company has partnered with and continues to strengthen its relationship with two key nonprofits – Girls on the Run and Girl Up – to execute against this belief.

In the U.S., Hershey kicked off its formal partnership with Girls on the Run, an organization with a mission focused on supporting, empowering and inspiring girls to realize their limitless potential, in 2022 and just renewed its partnership for 2023. In addition to added monetary support, employees will continue to volunteer at all levels of the Girls on the Run organization, including 5Ks and other events, as well as co-developing the ‘Future CEO’ program together.


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