Our History

A legacy of leadership

Honoring pioneers,
both past and present.

We’re proud to say PepsiCo has been leading diversity practices in the food and beverage industry since the 1940s, when the company hired an African American sales team. In the 1950s, we were one of the first major American companies to have a woman on our board, and in the 1980s, we made waves with multicultural marketing campaigns. Today, we honor the trailblazers who have paved the way with awards for our associates who are following in their footsteps and leading us into the future.

The Harvey C. Russell Award

Harvey C. Russell was one of the salespeople on the all-Black team created in 1947 to sell Pepsi to the African American community. In 1962, he made history at PepsiCo — and in the country — when he was named vice president, becoming the first Black officer of a major U.S. multinational corporation. We introduced the Global Harvey C. Russell Inclusion Award in 2003 to recognize the associates who go above and beyond to support the company’s diversity efforts.

Read about the latest winners →

The Thompson Fellowship

The Larry D. Thompson Legacy of Leadership Fellowship Program promotes diversity in the legal profession and supports the development of professionals from diverse backgrounds. Named for PepsiCo’s former general counsel (and former U.S. deputy attorney general) Larry D. Thompson, the 10-week program gives first-year law students the opportunity to work closely with in-house legal teams at PepsiCo and Frito-Lay, where they learn about our full operating environment and in-house career paths.

Learn more about how we're
making a difference.