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Diversity at Coca Cola

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Diversity at Coca Cola

Karrie McHugh

Managing Global Diversity/Keller

Coca Cola thought they had it all. Their product was selling rather well when they first started. They found through studies that one in every four people were drinking a soft drink and most of this early on was Coca Cola. In 2002, they were still doing great with over $3.9 billion in netted profits. They not only sold in the United States but in over 200 countries all together. They even diversified their product to where it was not just coke. They sold sprite, Diet Coke, and many others.

The biggest hardship that they ran across was when they started their marketing trying to become diverse to who they sold to. That is when they started to sell their products in Africa, Europe, Asia, etc. But the problem was with the workforce and not who they were selling to. In 1999, they received a lawsuit that they were discriminating against their black employees. They did not get reasonable promotions, pay and evaluations.

This was really a big strike against Coca Cola and began to affect them negatively because their consumers were largely made up of African Americans and Latinos. Coca Cola thought they were diverse because they aided Nelson Mandela's fund raising tour and helped the South African's with the antiapartheid cause. But the big problem was they did not do for their employees. The idea of diversity seemed to be good in marketing but not in the employment.

In 1981 Jesse Jackson started the boycott of Coca Cola because he disagreed with their hiring tactics for African Americans and found the company weak with supporting black-owned businesses. But Ware then started to support black vendors with a $50 million dollar program. This got Jesse Jackson to let up and Coca Cola thought everything would be better. But with the lawsuit more people started to become aware of Coca Cola's hiring, promotions, and pay and disagreed with how Coca Cola treated their black employees.

With all this going on Coca Cola did not realize the advantages that they would receive if they had a more diverse workforce when their products are sold all over. People do look at who companies employees and will believe they are really a diverse company if their products and marketing are not the only diverse thing about them. They really needed to make sure they had plenty of minorities employed with them and treated them the same as they did all white employees. They should receive the same pay, benefits, and promotions as anyone else. Otherwise they don't practice what they preach.

So, after the lawsuit Coca Cola decided to change a few things to promote diversity at the company. As of now, about a third of Coca Cola's employees are minorities, but the top ranking employees are white and all minorities (according to the report) were still over represented in lower paying jobs. But they did add in new programs and policies that seemed to help the company.

The policies and programs included are as follows:

 Established uniform process for employee reviews

 Required



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