HERSHEY, Pa. — The Hershey Co. is launching the Future CEO program and additional support for nonprofit partners Girl Up and Girls on the Run in honor of International Day of the Girl Child. The program will offer hands-on education to young women to provide skills, tools and mentorship.
“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 Hershey. “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.”
Initial phases of the program will kick off immediately, and the educational components will culminate in March surrounding International Women’s Day via a virtual event hosted by Buck and additional women leaders.
While this program is focused on the participants, it 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, according to Hershey.
To find participants, 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 United States (identified by Girls on the Run). Each participant will also receive a scholarship to further their education and develop their leadership skills.
Girl Up is nonprofit committed to advancing girls’ skills, rights and opportunities to be leaders. Hershey began its partnership with Girl Up on International Women’s Day in March, and the partnership includes engagement of five Hershey leaders who are serving as mentors as part of Girl Up's alumni mentorship program.
Girls on the Run is a nonprofit that helps girls recognize their strengths and builds a sense of connection leading up to a 5K race at the end of the season. Hershey partnered with the organization in 2022 and has 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. This year, Hershey plans to provide funding to at least five local Girls on the Run councils.
The Hershey Co., based in Hershey, Pa., has more than 80 brands around the world that drive $8 billion in annual revenues, including Hershey’s, Reese’s, Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers, SkinnyPop and Pirate’s Booty.
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