As proof of its 2016 commitment made towards women, PepsiCo Latin America and its partner FUNDES, are officially launching the ‘Women with Purpose’ program in the Dominican Republic, the sixth country in the region to join this initiative after Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, and Venezuela. This program is part of PepsiCo’s global Performance with Purpose agenda, which aims to benefit more than 12.5 million women and girls around the world by 2025.
‘Women with Purpose’ develops the business and personal capacities of Latin American women, through in-person and virtual training, mentoring and networking. Initially aimed at benefiting 10,000 women, it has now expanded to reach six countries and 12,000 women in the region, to support them through education, entrepreneurship, and employment opportunities. As of this year, PepsiCo has made a USD $1.8 million investment in the region to offer professional training and to integrate women into local value chains, as employees or entrepreneurs.
Monica Bauer, Vice President of Corporate Affairs for PepsiCo Latin America, said: “Since the launch of the program in 2016, ‘Women with Purpose’ has been received with open arms across the region. Local teams are working enthusiastically to help create strong communities. We plan to continue certifying women and providing them with support through education, entrepreneurship and employment opportunities.”
The local team in Dominican Republic has already begun efforts to implement the program in the country. As of today, there are 237 women registered in the program, 108 women have received in-person training and 14 women have been certified in the country. Through its food manufacturing and sales operations in the Dominican Republic, PepsiCo employs over 1,400 people and reaches over 58,000 points of sale including the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago. “The objective of launching Women with Purpose in Dominican Republic is that we believe in the value it will generate to the socio-economic sector of the country. We are convinced that woman must have a significant role in the value chains expansion and the creation of sources of employment,” added Roger Falkenstein, FUNDES Central America and Caribbean Director.
‘Women with Purpose’ was launched as a pilot project in Argentina. Since its launch at the end of 2016, more than 1,200 women have been trained in-person and 719 women have been certified in the region. Local achievements include:
- In Argentina, 152 women have been certified, 403 have received in-person training and 578 have registered in the program.
- In Brazil, 41 Brazilian women have been certified, 84 have received in-person training and 119 are currently registered in the program.
- In Mexico, 9 women have been certified, 80 are registered in the program and 46 have received in-person training.
- In Venezuela, a total of 125 women have been certified, 152 have received in-person training and 335 are registered in the program.
- In Colombia, 378 women have been certified, 461 have received in-person training and 497 have registered in the program.
Across the region, the program has also been successful at leveraging existing initiatives to empower women, thus amplifying its impact. In Mexico, the local ‘Women with Purpose’ has partnered with the International Youth Foundation (IYF), to implement the “Pathways to Success” program with the goal of enabling an estimated 20,000 young women to progress through school and thrive in the workforce. In other countries, like Chile, local efforts have transformed the existing Avanza program to align with the ‘Women with Purpose’ program’s goals. Avanza, is currently being implemented with the objective of strengthening and creating sustainable entrepreneurial businesses for women in Chile.
Yeimy Monsalve, a participant from the program in Colombia and current business owner claimed: “Everything that I’ve learned from this program has helped me since the day I enrolled. I have learned how to step out of my comfort zone, how to network and how to manage my own wallet. I feel super proud of what I’ve achieved. I’m a woman who has learned how to fight and carry on.”
With the support of local allies, team members that believe in the program’s mission and unmeasurable enthusiasm from participants, ‘Women with Purpose’ has become a region-wide powerhouse determined to supply Latin American women with the necessary tools to succeed in every aspect of their lives.