The Coca-Cola Company is marking its 100th anniversary as a public company today with a $1 million grant to Girls Who Invest from The Coca-Cola Foundation.
Girls Who Invest (GWI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in investment management, with a specific focus on increasing the pipeline of women entering the industry in frontline investing and leadership positions.
The grant will provide scholarships for approximately 40 women at U.S. colleges and universities to explore careers in investment management by participating in rigorous, four-week on-campus training programs at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Notre Dame or the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
The academic program is followed by a six-week paid internship at one of GWI’s more than 100 partner investment management firms in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, during which scholars work alongside investment management teams.
“We believe in empowering and investing in women,” said Helen Smith Price, president of The Coca-Cola Foundation. “Supporting the mission of Girls Who Invest is a perfect way to celebrate our 100th anniversary as a public company.”
“We’re enormously grateful to The Coca-Cola Foundation for so generously supporting our mission to promote and advocate for diversity and inclusion in the investment management industry,” said Janet Cowell, Girls Who Invest’s CEO. “Diversity is important not only because it’s the right thing to do, but it makes good business sense.”
GWI was founded in 2015 by Seema Hingorani, who currently serves as managing director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. Almost 700 young women have participated in GWI’s on-campus and online investment foundations programs.
The Coca-Cola Company has a long history of investing in women’s empowerment. It was one of the first major companies to name a woman to its board of directors: Lettie Pate Whitehead was named a director in 1934 and served for nearly 20 years.
The company is also a founding member of the NYSE Board Advisory Council. The company is hosting an event with the council today, partnering with the group to connect diverse candidates to companies seeking new directors.
Gender equality ranks as one of the company’s key internal priorities, with a commitment to being 50% driven by women, from professionals to senior leadership.
Coca-Cola was invented in 1886 by John Pemberton. Five years later, he sold the Coke formula to Asa Candler, who turned The Coca-Cola Company into a successful business. In 1919, Ernest Woodruff and other investors struck a deal to buy The
Coca-Cola Company from Candler for $25 million. The sale process and initial public offering unfolded during the summer and fall of 1919.
The Coca-Cola Company is marking its 100th anniversary today by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.