Luzerne McAllister II
Director, Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
New York, U.S.
You drive expansion of PepsiCo’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Can you talk about the importance of groups like EQUAL, and how you envision them evolving?
EQUAL is important on several levels. It’s been around roughly 20 years, but it’s grown by leaps and bounds in the last three to four years. After joining PepsiCo, I saw that people’s satisfaction scores were higher when they were involved with employee resource groups. Their engagement scores were better. We decided to double down on ERGs as a strategic area of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). When we want something done in the DE&I team, we engage ERGs to help drive that implementation.
In creating the ERG governance structure, it helped to make ERGs go from being local to national, regional, and in some cases, global. Currently, we have an informal Global EQUAL call where EQUAL chapter leaders from all over the world come together to share information. By the end of this year, we are hoping to formalize this even more by establishing two Global EQUAL co-chairs along with a high-ranking Executive Sponsor.
DE&I has been a passion for you for a long time?
DE&I is what I’ve been doing the longest in my career, but for a long time, I never got a paycheck for it. I started a group in high school that still exists today, and I have founded or run probably 10 groups over the years through different institutions focused on DE&I. The work that did get me a paycheck was in change management. I view myself as not just a human capital strategist, but also a change practitioner. And from that perspective, that’s how I approach getting things done in DE&I here at PepsiCo — the vision and implementation. Sometimes it can take a long time because it’s a huge company. There’s a lot of processes and relationships you have to build and navigate, but I’ve had a great opportunity to just be the intrapreneur that I am.