Life at PepsiCo

Dare to be yourself: How PepsiCo is building an inclusive community for all

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PepsiCo is more than just a company — it’s a community where everyone is valued and supported. And everyone has an opportunity to make a difference.

At PepsiCo, we’re committed to creating an inclusive space where everyone feels empowered to be themselves.

That’s why we’ve embarked on a Racial Equality Journey, investing in initiatives to dismantle systemic barriers facing Black and Hispanic Americans. It’s why we’re committed to achieving our gender parity goals.

But our commitment to inclusivity goes beyond numbers and initiatives; it’s about creating a culture where everyone feels valued and supported. At PepsiCo, your voice and experiences matter. We’re proud to create an environment where everyone can bring their whole selves to work. Here, you can dare to be yourself.

We believe that diversity, equity and inclusion are essential to our success, and we’re committed to doing the work to create equitable spaces for all.

Here, associate Jawanza Sampson shares what it means to have a space to be you.

Jawanza Sampson

Associate Principal Engineer

Valhalla, New York

Hello! Introduce yourself. Who are you, and what do you do?

Hi! I’m Jawanza Sampson. I’ve been with PepsiCo for eight years. I’m an engineer with the equipment development team. I’ve worked on many different projects around the globe. It’s been an exciting journey!

PepsiCo is known for its inclusive community. What stands out about it to you?

PepsiCo is a real community. My experience here has been very positive. As a person of color, I feel at home at PepsiCo. PepsiCo creates a space where everyone can be themselves. Work feels collaborative and inclusive — everyone’s ideas are heard, and everyone has the freedom to speak fearlessly.

Everyone’s ideas are heard, and everyone has the freedom to speak fearlessly.

How do associates dare to put each other first, no matter what?

My experience here is noticing how everyone’s always willing to help. Even if you’re just walking up to someone and meeting them for the first time. Everyone is willing to help or point you in the right direction even if they don’t have the answers. We truly practice putting others first. The people of PepsiCo always aim to do what is right, as well as trust and empower others to deliver and succeed.

Can you talk about the importance of being yourself in the workplace?

I’m that guy with dreads, right? I’m from Dominica, a very small island in the Caribbean. My heritage is what I bring to the table. I have a unique perspective because I was raised in the islands. I came to the U.S. as an adult, so my perspective is through that lens. Culturally, I’m different. My upbringing was different from that of a lot of folks. But that’s also not unique to PepsiCo because you meet so many different people, and everyone has their own unique story. Showing up — fully and authentically — allows us to behave in transparent ways. It allows us to actively listen and be curious.

PepsiCo is all about building a positive environment. We create moments for fun and connection.

What programs and services help PepsiCo associates thrive?

PepsiCo is all about building a positive environment. We create moments for fun and connection. A huge part of that is through our employee resource groups (ERGs). These are communities within PepsiCo that let associates know they are not alone. There are so many people who are going through experiences similar to yours.

Are you a member of any ERGs?

I’m a member of MOSAIC, an employee resource group supporting people of color. We have meetings on a biweekly and monthly basis. Sometimes this just means we all get together and discuss what’s going on in our lives over coffee. We also get to connect and chat about what’s going on within the company. Sometimes, we bring new hires and introduce them to everyone. We also invite very powerful speakers from time to time.

What stands out to you about the breadth of PepsiCo’s employee resource groups?

Again, you can find a space to be yourself at PepsiCo. No matter who you are, chances are there are ERGs for you. For example, I’ve attended seminars for PepsiCo Asian Network (PAN), which helps develop and retain Asian American associates.

PepsiCo has a culture that’s pushing everyone forward.

Can you speak to PepsiCo’s Racial Equality Journey and gender parity goals? What do these commitments mean to you as an employee?

Seeing commitments in action matters. But also, look at PepsiCo’s history: We had the first all-Black sales force in the 1960s. Oscar-nominated filmmakers are in the process of making a documentary about that story now. It’s rewarding to acknowledge the past and see how far we’ve come. There’s always work to be done, but you can see it in action. That’s a huge reason why I’ve been at PepsiCo for this long.

How do you Dare for Better?

It’s not just about me. PepsiCo has a culture that’s pushing everyone forward. Anyone with ambition can do well at PepsiCo. From my perspective, drive is rewarded. It’s just a part of our culture. PepsiCo is a place where anyone can find a mentor or be a mentor. You can work with cross-functional teams on different projects just to get a new experience. Dare for Better is a motivator — but it’s one that’s always been a part of PepsiCo.


Learn more about how we Dare for Better at PepsiCo.