HERSHEY, Pa., June 15, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) announced today that Michele Buck signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace by working collectively across organizations and sectors. The collaborative of more than 150 chief executive officers pledged to cultivate a trusting environment where all ideas are welcomed and employees feel comfortable and empowered to discuss diversity and inclusion.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/cf06115d-9492-483a-b3be-c4f94d717328

“We are proud to sign the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusioncommitment and join other industry leaders who are working to catalyze further conversation and action around diversity and inclusion,” said Michele Buck, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Hershey Company. “This is consistent with our efforts to foster a diverse, representative workforce at all levels of our company. By bringing together people with diversity of thought, interest, skill and experience, we are enriching our legacy as an organization and helping to cultivate a sustainable business for the future.”

As Hershey continues to grow globally, it is building on a strong foundation of people and purpose to further both its success and the greater good. The signatories commit to providing a trusting environment where employees feel empowered to discuss complex and sometimes difficult conversations about diversity and inclusion, where successful—and unsuccessful—practices can be shared across organizations.  With more than 18,000 employees globally, signing the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion is consistent with Hershey’s belief that inclusion is core to the company’s workplace culture and that Hershey is representative of the communities it serves.

The pledge builds on Hershey’s progress made toward its goal to be a premier industry leader in diversity and inclusion by 2020, including the Paradigm for Parity® pledge and accolades from DiversityInc and the Human Rights Campaign.

Paradigm for Parity®
Hershey recently pledged to support Paradigm for Parity®, a movement of business leaders, board members and academics who are committed to achieving a new norm in corporate America in which women and men have equal power, status, and opportunity. Women have always been at the heart of Hershey, from Milton Hershey School co-founder Catherine Hershey to Michele Buck, who became the company’s first female president and chief executive officer in March. “I am proud of Hershey’s industry-leading female representation across our executive team, where women also hold the chief financial officer, chief legal officer and chief growth officer positions. Four out of 12 positions on Hershey’s board of directors are also held by women,” said Kevin Walling, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer.

DiversityInc 28 Noteworthy Companies for Diversity
Hershey was recognized by DiversityInc, a premier diversity publication, as one of 28 “Noteworthy Companies,” and a contender for its “Top 50 Companies for Diversity” list. Hershey was also recognized on the “Top 15 Companies for Veterans” list. This is the second consecutive year Hershey earned honors on both lists.

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) 2017 Corporate Equality Index 100% Awards
This index is a national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertaining to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. Hershey earned a top score of 100 percent and the distinction of being listed as one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” for the third year in a row.

Hershey continues to build a workplace that welcomes and respects a multitude of perspectives to fuel innovation and create a stronger and better business. For more information, visit https://careers.thehersheycompany.com/us/en/

About The Hershey Company

The Hershey Company, headquartered in Hershey, Pa., is a global confectionery company known for bringing goodness to the world through its chocolate, sweets, mints and other great-tasting snacks. Hershey has approximately 18,000 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company has more than 80 brands around the world that drive more than $7.4 billion in annual revenues, including such iconic brand names as Hershey'sReese'sHershey's KissesJolly Rancher and Ice Breakers. Building on its core business, Hershey is expanding its portfolio to include a broader range of delicious snacks.

At Hershey, goodness has always been about more than delicious products. For more than 120 years, Hershey has been committed to operating fairly, ethically and sustainably. Hershey founder, Milton Hershey, created the Milton Hershey School in 1909 and since then the company has focused on giving underserved children the skills and support they need to be successful. Today, the company continues this social purpose through 'Nourishing Minds,' a global initiative that provides basic nutrition to help children learn and grow. From neighborhoods across the United States to the streets of Shanghai and Mumbai and villages of West Africa, our goal is to nourish one million minds by 2020.

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Media Contact
Jennifer Sniderman
The Hershey Company
717-534-6275
JSniderman@hersheys.com