Life at PepsiCo

Meet My Mentor: PepsiCo Pride

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This Pride Month, we’re celebrating game-changing mentors and mentees who make up our PepsiCo family.

Mentors are advocates and trusted role models. And historically, for members of the LGBTQ+ community, this type of “chosen family” can be literally lifesaving.

Even as the full spectrum of sexual and gender identities becomes less stigmatized, LGBTQ+ people face disproportionate risks and challenges.

That’s why PepsiCo offers an inclusive culture built on acceptance and support. Our employee resource groups, like EQUAL, create safe spaces so that everyone can truly know and feel that they are accepted and respected.

Together, we create space for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies to lead and flourish. Here, four inspiring associates share what makes PepsiCo’s culture and people so special, and which colleagues have made a lasting impression on their lives.

Dacia Di Gerolamo
Regional Sales Manager
Los Angeles, California


What stands out to you about PepsiCo’s people and culture?

I’m proud to work at PepsiCo because of the people who work here. PepsiCo is at the forefront of ensuring that we have good representation throughout the company. I’ve been able to see how that’s progressed over these years. There are so many women here in leadership positions who I can go to for advice.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

I was just given The PepsiCo Way award by our CEO, Ramon Laguarta, because of my contributions to EQUAL, our employee resource group for LGBTQ+ associates. It was so special to see the hard work we’re doing making an impact on the lives around me.

What does mentorship mean to you?

I wouldn’t be where I am today without awesome mentors who have helped guide me throughout my career. Mentorship to me is having that person who’s a sounding board, someone you can go to for advice or for guidance or just to vent. Having someone you can count on, personally and professionally, is just super important.

How can mentorship foster inclusivity?

Mentorship lets us see and experience diversity of thought. Anyone can feel included because we relate to one another. We can build upon that relationship. It’s especially important to support the LGBTQ+ community. I have a transgender brother and brother-in-law, and I’ve seen their journey of not having enough representation in their workplace and school. They’ve worked to find a community where they’re accepted and welcomed. In places like PepsiCo, it’s important for associates and team members to see representation in our leaders — especially our frontline leaders. Folks need to see people who look and identify like them so they know they can get there, too.

Who do you look up to for inspiration?

Terri Fisher. I’ve been able to work with her over the past couple of years. In that time, she’s gone from being the chair of EQUAL to the president. It’s inspiring to see her take that responsibility to the next level. She wants to do everything that she can to foster a safe, inclusive environment for our employees. She does an awesome job of asking the right questions and pushing for us to ensure we’re doing everything we can to create a safe space for everyone.

If you could tell Terri one thing, what would it be?

Thank you. You’re the reason so many more people in our organization are going to have a safe space. You inspire others to want to get involved. You are the change that we need, and you continue to push us forward. I’m so lucky to be able to work with you, and I’m excited for what’s next.

Terri Fisher
Delivery Manager
Parrish, Florida


What stands out to you about PepsiCo’s people and culture?

Everyone wants to take care of each other. Everyone wants to look out for one another. And everyone wants to learn as much as they possibly can. Our culture is about being better, faster and stronger — together. That’s what being at PepsiCo is about.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

I’ve been with PepsiCo for 26 years. At the Kern plant, I was a quality safety manager, and we had the FDA come to our building. We were one of the first ever to have the FDA visit, and we did well. I knew we were prepared to have a regulatory agency come in to make sure we were making the best, safest food possible, but it was the validation we needed. I was just super excited to be able to walk away and say that I helped set our site up.

What does mentorship mean to you?

Mentorship is one of my core values. I love having a mentor, and I love being a mentor. You gain so much insight from being seen, heard and valued. You always glean something from those experiences, and you utilize those in your mentorships. My mentors have taught me to never give up. Never let anybody tell you no. There’s always a way.

How does mentorship foster inclusivity?

Having a mentor or mentoring someone is a very personal relationship. You get to know one another, and you understand that mentorship is about accepting a person — their whole person — no matter what. You understand what drives them and what motivates them. Understanding a person’s passions helps you know who they are deep down and how to help maneuver their career forward.

Who do you look to for inspiration?

Taryn Limpach. She’s so passionate and provides the best advice. She helps me understand how we navigate what’s next in regard to our career and also how we move EQUAL forward. We’re also both moms, and she provides insight from that perspective. What does it look like for our families if we have to make a big change or move? We’ve done some great work together.

If you could tell Taryn one thing, what would it be?

Thank you! Thank you for living out loud and being willing to partner with me on this crazy journey. You’ve invested so much time in me and EQUAL. You’re amazing. You’ve helped me navigate my career, and you’ve helped me be more present with my family.

Taryn Limpach
Transformation Senior Director
Plano, Texas


What stands out to you about PepsiCo’s people and culture?

PepsiCo is its people. The people are amazing. I know for myself at the end of the day, I feel like this is a great place. Not only can I bring my whole self to work, but others feel like it’s a safe space for them. I think that has started from day one when I started at PepsiCo and as we onboard people, including interns that just started yesterday. We talk to them about what’s important to us and how they can have a career while being themselves, and I think that’s what’s most important. That is all different parts of yourself and being an individual. Is it being a mom? Is it being a spouse? Is it doing the things that you love to do while also having a successful career at PepsiCo?

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

I would say the teams that I’ve been able to work for and work with. I have had many different roles within the organization, moved six times and every single time I’m just impressed by the teams that we have and the go-getter attitudes that they have. Recently my team started a new go-to-market route design called marketplace that’s for field sales for Frito-Lay. I think it’s just seeing the tenacity of the folks that we work with and the kindness, and just continuing to be themselves while giving to others every single day here at PepsiCo.

What does mentorship mean to you?

Mentorship is much more than just the one word we hear often, right? We think of a mentor, and someone’s name pops in our head. I’ve been fortunate to have many wonderful mentors in my career, but when I think of mentorship, it’s someone whom I’m contributing to as well.

How does mentorship foster inclusivity?

Mentorship creates this relationship where you can bring your whole self to work. Oftentimes we’re in a work environment where we spend as much of our time at work as we do at home. Having a mentor who understands you allows you to open up and be more successful.

Who do you look to for inspiration?

My mentor is Michele Thatcher. She’s an incredible ally. She asks questions. She talks to me about my family. I’ve known her throughout the years, whether it be for my involvement with EQUAL or different passings throughout, but the last couple years she’s really been here for me. She listens to what’s happening with the LGBTQ+ community and brings that to the rest of PepsiCo to create awareness.

If you could tell Michele one thing, what would it be?

I appreciate you. You’ve done more for me and the entire EQUAL community than you know. I am excited to keep our journey with EQUAL going. Thank you, Michele.

Michele Thatcher
Senior Vice President, Global Employment Law


What stands out to you about PepsiCo’s people and culture?

Well, I’ve only worked for one company my entire 40+ years of working. That speaks to PepsiCo. People are just passionate. People want to engage, whether they’re working as frontline leaders or working for employee resource groups like EQUAL. People like working with each other — and people can make a difference.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

That’s an easy one. I’ve had the privilege of bringing on so many great people. It’s so exciting to see. Now, they’re becoming directors and moving in the organization and pulling others through. I love watching people progress within their careers and then reach back and keep pulling others along.

What does mentorship mean to you?

At its heart, true mentorship is a friendship. You have something in common, and you build from that and you’re able to share some of your lessons learned. Both sides get something meaningful out of it. You have to look out for each other’s best interests. That includes giving people constructive criticism because you’re invested in them.

How does mentorship foster inclusivity?

Anytime you can learn from someone else, you create a more inclusive environment. I’m an ally. Several people I’ve mentored, like Taryn of EQUAL, have been so impactful in helping me learn about the LGBTQ+ community. What are the challenges people face? What are the rewards of embracing your truth? How does that impact the way you may approach your career? It’s eye-opening.

Who do you look to for inspiration?

My EQUAL members inspire me because I know they’ve had so many individual challenges they’ve had to persevere. They take that and create a safe space for others to learn and foster a more inclusive environment. I just see a lot of inspiration in that. Our frontline employees who make, move and sell our products also inspire me every single day. They make me so proud to be a part of PepsiCo.

You’ve also influenced other lives. By mentoring Taryn, you began a thread of influence that has an impact to this day. What can we learn from that?

It’s incredibly inspiring. Taryn is a joy. I never thought that it might create a chain of mentorship. You just don’t think that far in advance. As people, we think about the impact that we have, but we don’t necessarily think about the impact they may be having on others. It’s very cool and makes me realize how we can all build leaders.