HERSHEY, Pa., July 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) is proud to share that it received a 100 percent score on the Disability Equality Index® (DEI) and is recognized as a DEI Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion.

(PRNewsfoto/The Hershey Company)

The DEI was launched in 2015 by Disability:IN and The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and is acknowledged today as the most robust disability inclusion assessment tool in business. Now in its seventh year, the DEI exists to help businesses make a positive impact on the unemployment/ underemployment of people with disabilities.

"The Hershey Company has a long-standing commitment to fostering an inclusive environment where all employees around the world can be their authentic selves as they work to bring more moments of goodness to our consumers," said Jason Reiman, Senior Vice President for Supply Chain and executive sponsor of The Hershey Company's Abilities First Business Resource Group (BRG). "This starts with our hiring practices and extends to each area of our business to create a positive impact on our business and communities around the world."

Diversity is a source of energy and innovation at The Hershey Company. The company's work to advance disability inclusion is evidenced by:

  • Progressing a five-year inclusion agenda, including differently abled people, is key to the company's business growth strategy and employee experience.
  • Including disability inclusion in recruitment, employment, supplier and accommodation practices.
  • Enhanced internal practices and policies around talent development to maintain disability, gender representation and expand people of color representation, including our unique Pathways to Growth accelerated development training program for diverse cohorts in early career talent.
  • Embedding supplier diversity (including people with disabilities-owned businesses) in our official procurement policy and mandatory training for all employees responsible for making purchasing decisions.
  • Diversity ranges in the performance evaluations, including senior leadership and the executive committee.
  • Expanded resources for people manager training including but not exclusive to etiquette, language, accommodations and health services, and unconscious bias training.
  • Posting employment opportunities on DiversityJobs.com with DisabilityJobs.net, the office of Vocational Rehabilitation and Getting Hired, as well as abilitiesinjobs.com, disabledjobseekers.com, disabledperson.com and JOFDAV.com.
  • Collaborating with our Abilities First Business Resource Group (BRG) to provide a space for employees to discuss new business opportunities, influence company policy and develop employees and communities where we do business.
  • Partnering with the Pennsylvania-based non-profit Susquehanna Service Dogs (SSD) to strengthen an inclusive culture and foster a community that is welcoming to all people.

"Businesses have the power to drive the global advancement of disability inclusion, and we're thrilled to see more companies than ever leverage the Disability Equality Index to measure their progress. We recognize these top-scoring companies as a 'Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion' for their passion and efforts to lead the way in creating greater equity for people with disabilities in the workplace, marketplace and supply chain," said Jill Houghton, President and CEO of Disability:IN.

"These top-scoring companies understand deeply that people with disabilities represent a tremendous source of talent and innovation for their workforce and market share for their brands, and they are trailblazers in our journey towards full disability inclusion in business," said Maria Town, President and CEO of AAPD.

About The Hershey Company

The Hershey Company is headquartered in Hershey, Pennsylvania and is an industry-leading snacks company known for making more moments of goodness through its iconic brands, remarkable people, and enduring commitment to doing the right thing for its people, planet, and communities. Hershey has nearly 20,000 employees in the U.S. and around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, high-quality products. The company has more than 100 brand names in approximately 80 countries worldwide that drive more than $10.4 billion in annual revenues, including Hershey's, Reese's, Kit Kat®, Jolly Rancher and Ice Breakers, and fast-growing salty snacks including Skinny PopPirate's Booty, and Dot's Homestyle Pretzels.

For more than 125 years, Hershey has been committed to operating fairly, ethically, and sustainably. The candy and snack maker's founder, Milton Hershey, created Milton Hershey School in 1909 and since then the company has focused on helping children succeed through equitable access to education.

About the Disability Equality Index®

The Disability Equality Index (DEI) is a comprehensive benchmarking tool that helps companies build a roadmap of measurable, tangible actions that they can take to achieve disability inclusion and equality. Each company receives a score, on a scale of zero (0) to 100, with those earning 80 and above recognized as a "Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion."

The DEI is a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the nation's largest disability rights organization, and Disability:IN, the global business disability inclusion network, to collectively advance the inclusion of people with disabilities. The organizations are complementary and bring unique strengths that make the project relevant and credible to corporations and the disability community. The tool was developed by the DEI Advisory Committee, a diverse group of business leaders, policy experts, and disability advocates. Learn more at: www.DisabilityEqualityIndex.org.

About the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)

AAPD is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power for people with disabilities. As a national cross-disability rights organization AAPD advocates for full civil rights for the 60+ million Americans with disabilities. Learn more at: www.aapd.com.

About Disability:IN®

Disability:IN is a global organization driving disability inclusion and equality in business. More than 500 corporations' partner with Disability:IN to create long-term business and social impact through the world's most comprehensive disability inclusion benchmarking and reporting tool, the Disability Equality Index (DEI); best-in-class conferences and programs; expert counsel and engagement; and public policy leadership. Join us at disabilityin.org/AreYouIN #AreYouIN. 

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SOURCE The Hershey Company

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