We embrace our brand promise to promote inclusion, celebrate diversity and champion equality. These values are an intrinsic part of who we are as a company. For us, it is not just the right thing to do—it’s a business imperative that will fuel our future growth, promote creativity and foster innovation.

In 2017, we strengthened our Diversity and Inclusion strategy. Our approach is anchored by four pillars: Workplace, Marketplace, Community and Partners. People are at the center of everything we dofrom our employees, to our suppliers, customers, consumers and the communities where we operate.

Actions speak louder than words. That’s why we’ve aligned our pay and incentives to celebrate associates who demonstrate curiosity, inclusivity and empowerment. In doing so, we aim to attract, develop, engage and retain a global talent mix that will foster a high-performance growth culture.

Our Diverse Talent Mix

Enhanced diversity and inclusion is fundamental to strengthening our global talent pipeline. Female talent in our business and leadership roles is a key feature of this work. At the end of 2017, the company’s overall representation of female talent was 47.2%, an increase from 2016. In the United States, we are also focused on increasing multicultural talent in mid- and senior-level leadership roles. The Coca-Cola Company’s representation of multicultural talent in the United States at the end of 2017 was 32.3%.

We share diversity and inclusion metrics across our global workforce with our board of directors and senior leaders on a quarterly basis, highlighting progress and driving accountability. Our aspiration is not only to exceed industry norms but also to mirror at every level of leadership the diversity of the communities where we operate.

A Culture of Inclusion

While we focus our metrics on gender and multicultural representation, we look at the full spectrum of diversity with an inclusive mindset, including but not limited to gender, ethnicity, age, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, military service, nationality and religion. We foster a culture that embraces and values the similarities and differences of people, cultures and ideas. We are proud to have scored 100% on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index every year since its launch in 2006.

Our Diversity Advisory Councils and Business Resource Groups (BRGs) have more than 7,000 members globally and continue to be a driving force in shaping an inclusive culture, advancing diverse talent and serving as an incubator for fresh ideas. For example, when the company was exploring ways to translate brand messages and taglines into relevant Spanish phrases, our Hispanic Leadership BRG contributed to the creation of language adaptation software for point-of-sale taglines. The Hispanic Leadership BRG members submit tagline suggestions and vote online
for the best Spanish language adaptation. Efforts like these help us to maintain relevancy with our consumer audiences and drive business growth.

We extend this mindset of knowledge sharing and collaboration to our bottlers, customers and industry. In 2017, we conducted our first diversity and inclusion system assessment. Nine of our largest bottlers provided information about diversity strategies, programs, initiatives and metrics. This helped us collectively assess where we are as a system, share best practices and support one another in our diversity and inclusion efforts around the globe.

We continued to foster inclusive dialogue among associates through "Stand as One" listening sessions, where we openly engaged in topical diversity and inclusion conversations. These sessions help increase understanding among associates and provide a constructive venue for leadership to listen and act upon the concerns of our associates. The company also publicly demonstrated support for diversity and inclusion in 2017 by signing onto the CEO Action for Diversity Inclusion Pledge and Catalyst CEO Champions for Change Pledge.


 

Emphasizing Supplier Diversity

Our respect for diversity extends well beyond our walls. In 2017, we completed the refranchising of our bottling operations in the United States. As part of the major refranchising transformation, we made an intentional decision to identify additional diverse ownership. The Coca-Cola system in the United States is now comprised of a diverse array of independent bottlers, from multinational owners to decades-old, family-held operations.

In addition, we spent approximately $650-700 million with diverse suppliers in 2017, contributing to our commitment to spend $1 billion with diverse suppliers by 2020. And, through our Supplier Training & Empowerment Program (STEP), we continue to help the Coca-Cola system’s women-owned suppliers stay competitive and grow their businesses. Since the program launched in 2014, STEP has trained more than 2,300 women business owners.

Our supplier diversity efforts earned us external recognition in 2017, including America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises by the Women Business Enterprises National Council, Top Corporation Award by the Greater Women’s Business Council, Supplier Diversity Champion by MBN USA and recognition by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for spending more than $1 million with Hispanic-owned businesses.