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Wednesday, Oct 4, 2023

Pepsi Diversity Training Enhances Customer Service

Recruitment efforts by the Pepsi Bottling Group don’t differ much from how any large corporation attracts new employees, especially to have a diverse workforce. The company attends job fairs and career events to have access to the labor pool. So how the company sets itself apart with its diversity efforts is by what it does internally. “Internally, we are on top of it,” said Steven Murk, human resources manager for the area that includes the San Fernando Valley. “We are measured as a management team on how diverse our employees are and we have goals we have to hit.” Pepsi Bottling is the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of Pepsi Cola products and is 49 percent owned by Pepsico. Eric Foss, bottling group CEO and president, chairs its diversity council, the body that develops strategies linking diversity efforts with business goals. At the city of San Fernando warehouse facility, its more than 300 employees encompass drivers, warehouse workers, sales representatives and merchandisers who go into retail locations to set up displays and management. The group also has a production facility in Torrance. At the San Fernando location, 256 workers are minorities, 20 are women and 62 are white males. There are no women in senior managerial or executive positions although there are 6 women junior managers. There are 19 minority junior managers and two in senior management; a majority of minority employers work on the front line. In building its employee base, the company looks for people who understand the different languages and cultures they will encounter in distributing Pepsi products. “It helps us from a sales and business perspective to be able to relate to our customers are a lot better,” Murk said. All Pepsi Bottling Group employees receive diversity training every quarter based on material sent out from the corporate headquarters in New York, Murk said. The training program given for the first quarter was titled “Build an Inclusive Culture” focusing on what makes people unique and accepting those differences, Murk said. Employees have completed more than 100,000 hours of training since 2002 to learn skills for communicating with people about differences and how to work together more effectively. The Pepsi Bottling Group was ranked second on “DiversityInc’s” list of Top 50 Companies for Diversity. The online publication lauded the company for its donations to multicultural organizations and its mandatory surveys.

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