Australian PepsiCo workers are picking their own public holidays that are more “more culturally relevant” to them.
The soft drink giant is trialling the new public holiday program, which allows employees to swap Australian public holidays for other days.
The program subsequently won a prestigious global award for inclusion from the company’s CEO at a ceremony in New York.
PepsiCo workers pick public holidays
PepsiCo introduced the program last year known as “floating cultural holidays” news.com.au reports.
The company says it is a way for the company to improve diversity and inclusion in addition to reducing discrimination.
Senior HR director, Shiona Watson, said the company’s workforce is made up of 45 different nationalities across Australia and also New Zealand.
She told news.com.au:
“What we’ve said to our employees is we recognise for the most part the Australian public holiday system is based on a Christian Anglo-Saxon calendar.
“We said we’ll allow our employees some flexibility.”
However, Watson said some public holidays are still non-negotiable, for example, Easter, Christmas, Anzac Day and also Australia Day.
“We’ve kept them for now. As with every program, we’ll stop and evaluate,” she said.
“We’ve just started with the Labour Day public holidays, Queen’s Birthday and also sporting holidays [such as] Melbourne Cup.”
Female representation a priority
Watson also told news.com.au PepsiCo’s efforts to increase female representation in the company has had impressive results.
Today, 60 percent of the research and development team, in addition to 70 percent of the sales leadership team, is comprised of women.
By 2025, the company plans to finally meet a 50-50 target at middle management level and above.
“This isn’t just about focussing on hiring women, it’s about focusing on hiring the best possible talent within the market, by creating environments where everyone has the capacity to succeed,” she said.
In a bid to promote a family-friendly flexible work environment, PepsiCo employees now receive a market-leading 16-weeks paid parental leave, up from 12-weeks.
A good idea
Miles Heffernan, Director of Litigation at IR Claims, praised the holiday swap program.
“Companies that offer their employees flexibility and encouragement make them feel valued and respected,” he said.
“As a result, they want to come to work.
“Therefore, anything that promotes inclusion and a happy workplace, is going to result in happy workers, and happy workers are more productive.”
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