PepsiCo is aiming to promote diversity in the legal profession through the development of a bespoke legal internship program.
The firm says they recognize the law remains one of the lesser diverse sectors, both in Australia and overseas, thus designed the internship program to promote diversity while also honouring the organisation’s former general counsel, Larry D Thompson.
Way of doing business
PepsiCo ANZ senior legal director, Lili Dent said, ‘at PepsiCo, we believe the law must reflect all parts of the society it governs; this is also true of the legal profession, and we’re aiming to improve the diversity in law by supporting the development of diverse young professionals in this area.’ Ms Dent explained that PepsiCo believes its business as a whole ‘should reflect our communities, and we have a very strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in our organization. It’s more than programs and policies, it’s our way of doing business. The PepsiCo ANZ program builds on the existing offering which has been running in the United States for a number of years, and Ms Dent stated the response in Australia has been immensely positive.
The company has partnered with Australian law schools and received 65 applications in its inaugural year. Two candidates, Zaen Alsweity and Tamim Rahimi, were announced as the successful applicants. They have spent time shadowing each of PepsiCo’s legal team on a rotational basis, which Ms Dent said is to ‘expose them to as much as possible. They’ve experienced first-hand the team’s work in areas such as corporate sustainability, procurement, consumer law and food packaging, competition law and privacy.’ The candidates have been involved in a range of activities across the broader business to help them understand the full operating environment. Ms Dent said the PepsiCo internship demonstrates ‘in-house career path opportunities.’