PepsiCo: Diversity

Pepsi Co. is known to be a world leader in fast foods and drinks. The company believes that utilizing the diverse talents and strengths will contribute to its success. The company is much concerned with inclusion and diversity in all aspects of its culture to improve as a multinational, global, and multigenerational company with an ability to serve the communities of the world efficiently. For the company to ensure its focus on inclusion and diversity gets support at different company levels, it seeks feedback which acts as the organization’s health survey. PepsiCo is benchmarked frequently for its global inclusion and diversity initiatives, mostly by majority of its highly valued retail clients.

PepsiCo’s inclusion and diversity leadership along with the initiatives have been appreciated by a number of publications and organizations. A council on diversity and inclusion has been established successfully in the four continents the PepsiCo business operates. This initiative has been focusing on locally relevant strategies and plans of diversity and inclusion. In the United States for instance the mostly considered inclusion and diversity employee resource groups or networks are individuals with disabilities, transgender/bisexual/gay/lesbian individuals, while males women of color, women, native Americans, Asians, Hispanics/ Latinos, and African Americans.

Considering that the company has endorsed the women empowerment principles of the U.N. it has been crucial for PepsiCo to support the women in its business, particularly in developing countries. In United States, 31% of the board members are women and they also comprise 33% of the executive team. This comprises of the president of the PepsiCo’s snack business in China and the region president of Asia Pacific. The percentage of women executes have also been increased in Middle East, Asia, and Latin America businesses. For instance, in Mexico the executive positions female representation had increased by 24% by December 2011, while the female in the executive ranks had increased by 38% by June 2011.

The company has made a calculated frontline labor investment and made support for ensuring that the region hires the best staff as front route sales representatives. By doing this the region completed 10 community open houses in 2011 which deepened strong bonds with these groups as the Hispanic Commerce Chamber, Urban League and the Native American tribal councils. This improved the frontline representation in the region for people of color by about 1.36% and improved the frontline female representation by 0.8%.

The main objective of PepsiCo International to manage change has been to categorize and enable synergies and influence the capacity for competitive gain. This project is inclusive of four business units that span a broad range of global, regional and local brands in the markets for beverage, foods and snacks.

Initially the company showed a system of shared value for inclusion and diversity at a global managerial level. Nonetheless, on a day to day basis, the specific managers never demonstrated a support for the given values. For the organization to accomplish its mission this well known gap between behavior and belief need to be closed.

The PepsiCo International initiated a massive scale project on cultural transformation that is aimed at pulling the power of one comprising the entire global organization. It affected employees are at all levels, from different countries, for different primary languages and at about 24 time zones. PepsiCo intents to have every employee treating others with fairness and respect, showing sensitivity to differences and appreciating diverse opinions and perspectives. At higher administrative levels, managers and executive are expected to promote inclusive work environments which help individuals in building a strong equilibrium amid work and personal life.

To enhance diversity various policies should be put in place. For the instance PepsiCo adapted Kotter’s change model to fit the organization. Following the considerable complexity of the effort, the 8-step model of change for creating strategy and building an organizational culture that is globally inclusive and unifying. The eventual goal of the strategy was to allow growth in the business objectives, specifically expansion of market, talent development, collaborative excellence and innovation (Ross, 2011).

The eight stages could be simplified into a culture of four phases which includes: local relevance and ownership, sustenance, capability, and awareness. Instead of following a traditional, linear, uniform progression, the process of change should accommodate groups and locations at various levels and diverse cultures and local regional leadership communication and style.

First, on local relevance and ownership the organization should conduct chartering expedition workshops with regional business unit senior unit senior leadership in creating sponsorship leadership teams and buy-in for guiding the process of change. Second, there should be an individual acceptance and awareness of cognitive as well as emotional requirements should be addressed. Third, in relation to capability there should be an inclusive workshop on leadership for developing skills that enable leaders at different levels in building, advancing and sustaining an inclusive influence sphere (Bell, 2011).

In the phase of sustenance there should be development of various mechanisms for helping leaders in furthering their practice and augment their skills. At the same time a global company should deliver an inclusion and diversity practitioner certification program for developing an internal cadre of PepsiCo International main business unit leaders that are able to cascade the program in lowering organizational levels and for driving the process of change.

The inner business leaders representing the different business units and geographic areas should be certified for coaching individual leaders, informally tracking the dynamics of an organization and assessing the current and the desired organizational culture state, identifying specific opportunities and applications and facilitating workout workshops and sessions.

With these initiatives put in place the workforce as well as the organization stands to benefit greatly. Understanding and general awareness of diversity and inclusion grows and the senior leaders gain by perceiving ownership. The inclusion and diversity should be part of the future leader development program. The employees should then be measured on how well they attain objectives of diversity as well as inclusion which in turn affects increase in their merit and payout of their bonus (Rosener & Loden, 1991).

The workforce through diversity experiences growth in various competencies related to inclusiveness. This results from behavior change by principle managers and highlighting on inclusion and diversity all through the organization. In line with this, women representation at the executive levels has also gone up.

Diversity and inclusion has led to operational successes in innovation initiatives, selection processes, cross-functional and global teams among others. The worldly organization also benefits from use of common points of reference and vocabulary that is conveyed by the components of training. The workforce is also more aware of prejudices/biases and the mode of dealing with them within the business setting (Gutierrez, 1991).

Change management usually takes patience and time; to be inclusive entails addressing emotions and may result to discomfort initially. Raising of awareness resulting to more raising of expectations. Without leaders’ commitment and modeling of inclusive behaviors there will be no change. Empowering and engaging operations and organizations at the local level in defining the local relevance of inclusion is very vital. The needed change is holographic, for instance, on a profound individual level, the personal needs for representing expansively the transformation required by the whole organization.

To drive global cultural change should consider specific cultural and management biases of a given organization, like the focus of the American culture. A major success factor is the capability for adequately decoding, acknowledging and satisfactorily addressing the cultural predisposition and the context that is related with inclusion and diversity. Unrelenting focus should be on actions, skills and tools; nonetheless, the level to which individuals are authentically and credibly implementing them can not be monitored easily. It calls for individual dedication by leaders as well as unofficial manipulators to maintain inclusion a fresh and a compelling organizational focus. Diversity and inclusion councils created regionally are essential for maintaining and furthering the agenda to build inclusive culture (Ross, 2011).

Building and investing an internal capability primarily is solution to global initiatives. When selecting a pool/team of practitioners it is crucial to choose leaders from within various business lines but not support functions. An informal global knowledge network through which lessons learned, experiences and good practices can cross pollinate an organization is also answer to enhancing a global company’s diversity


Bell, M.P. (2011) Diversity in organizations, Boston: South-Western College Pub

Diversity and Inclusion Retrieved on July 18, 2012 from

Gutierrez, N.L. (1991) "Managing Cultural Diversity in Volunteer Organizations." Voluntary               Action Leadership

PepsiCo International Case study Retrieved on July 18, 2012 from

Rosener J. B. and Loden, M. (1991) Workforce America: Managing Diversity as a Vital                  Resource, Homewood, Illinois: Business One Irwin

Ross, H.J. (2011) Reinventing diversity: Transforming organizational community to strengthen    people, purpose and performance. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers


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