Forbes Names Hershey World’s Top Female Friendly Company

Hershey, PA — The Hershey Co. has been ranked #1 on Forbes’ list of the “World’s Top Female Friendly Companies.” The company says the ranking illustrates its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, believing DEI is mission critical to the its long-term success. 

“Guided by The Pathways Project, we continue to advance progress around gender equity – a core component of our greater DEI strategy,” says Alicia Petross, chief diversity officer. “At Hershey, we are more than female friendly — we are female forward. From internal initiatives, such as pay equity, our hiring and development strategy and women’s business resource group, to external initiatives, such as the International Women’s Day HerSHEy’s bar and our ongoing community engagement efforts to support all youth, this recognition is a testament to our continued commitment to gender equity across our organization.”

In 2020, Hershey co-created The Pathways Project with employees to catalyze conversations, propel progress and put DEI goals in place. The company says this recognition comes on the tails of its 2020 milestone of achieving a dollar-for-dollar aggregate pay equity for both salaried women and people of color in the U.S.

In addition to pay equity, Hershey has made several other notable outcomes to support women including the formation of a women’s business resource group, the expansion of family-focused benefits like fertility benefits and paid paternity leave and the establishment of career development programs for underrepresented groups. As reported in its 2020 Sustainability Report, the company has 48.1 percent gender diversity around the world, 37.4 percent of people leaders globally are women and the Board of Directors has 42 percent gender diversity. 

By 2025, The Pathways Project plans to achieve aggregate dollar-for-dollar pay equity for salaried employees worldwide and seeks to increase representation of Hershey’s employee base so that 47 to 50 percent of employees are women and 30 to 40 percent are people of color, the company explains. Similarly, Hershey notes it aspires to have 15 to 22 percent People Leader roles occupied by people of color and 40 to 42 percent by women.