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Embracing Equity: building an inclusive workplace at CCEP

Sue Eilfield, VP People & Culture, Inclusion, Diversity & Equity

Sue Eilfield, VP People & Culture, Inclusion, Diversity & Equity | Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

4 min read Partner content

International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the achievements of women – whether social, economic, political or cultural.

It’s fitting that this year’s theme is ‘Embrace Equity’, since for us at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) we have been working to improve equity within our business for some time – it’s at the heart of how we aim to operate every day. 

As a woman in a senior leadership role in a business that employs over 3,500 people across Great Britain, I have a strong belief in valuing diversity, and I feel a personal responsibility to support this year’s International Women’s Day theme, #EmbraceEquity both within our company and the communities we serve.

We are committed to building a business where Everyone’s Welcome and are working to lead as an inclusive, diverse and equitable business, to grow sustainably, truly represent the society we serve and positively impact peoples’ lives.

To focus our efforts, we have clear gender diversity commitments as part of our sustainability action plan This Is Forward. This includes an aspiration that, in our GB business, women will make up 50% of our management and senior leadership roles by the end of 2025.

We know it is vitally important to ensure greater gender balance in senior roles, recognising that as a manufacturing business we also find certain roles, such as those in our Supply Chain and engineering-based teams, are traditionally less likely to be filled by women. While this is a sectoral issue, we want to be at the forefront of tackling this and understand that further focus will be required to increase female representation.

For many years we have progressed with clear commitments for gender balance in our senior manager population, but to make even more progress, last year we extended our gender equality targets and have now set ourselves the goal of achieving higher levels of gender balance across our entire workforce.

Creating equity is of course the right thing to do. It is also integral to our long-term commercial success. Being diverse and inclusive ensures that we can incorporate a broader range of perspectives and backgrounds, and by reflecting the world around us, we will continue to attract the best talent, and be the best partner to our customers.

For us, measurement and accountability are crucial in driving this progress and for that reason, gender metrics are a core part of the objectives of the Executive Team across our business. We were proud to be included in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index (GEI) for the third year running, with continuous improvement on many key areas. We are also signatories to the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), which offers guidance to businesses on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace, and community.

We aim to ensure diversity within our hiring teams and inclusion in our selection practices – for example, through initiatives such as our Equity Programme and dedicated training to address the potential for unconscious bias, and through our allyship training which is accessible to all. To support this further, we have worked with a range of partners including Vercida, a careers site aimed at jobseekers looking for employers that place diversity, inclusion and well-being at the top of the agenda; Successful Mums, a training company focused on helping mothers return to the workforce, and Get-Optimal, an AI technology platform through which our job adverts are optimised to remove barriers that may discourage women from applying.

As well as encouraging more women to consider a position with us, we also want to ensure that everyone who works with us is given equal opportunity to succeed by creating more equitable practices. We have established inclusivity networks across our business and have dedicated training and mentoring programmes designed to improve gender balance. We also have dedicated Executive level sponsors in our business who lead our strategy and action plan for creating a more gender balanced workplace. Ultimately, we want to help all of our people to maximise their talent and reach their full potential.

Throughout this month, we will spotlight International Women’s Day right across our business and we remain focused on continuing to become an ever more inclusive workplace for the benefit of all of our colleagues, our customers and our communities.

To find out more about our This is Forward commitments and progress, and how we #EmbraceEquity at CCEP, visit our Forward on Society webpage here.

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