HERSHEY, PA. — The Hershey Co. is launching a program to increase the number of women in leadership roles as part of the company’s monthlong campaign to celebrate International Day of the Girl.

The “Future CEO” program will provide hands-on education and mentorship opportunities for young women and equip them with the tools and skills necessary to become leaders.

“At Hershey, we understand the power of inclusivity, equity and diversity and believe we have an important role in recognizing and empowering diverse voices around the world,” said Michele Buck, chief executive officer of Hershey. “On this day when we celebrate young women and girls all over the world — and every day — we are committed to supporting young women and girls by helping them harness their potential and giving them a platform to achieve their dreams. By providing access to opportunities and resources, we're also helping build a workforce of the future that reflects the global landscape and creates a more inclusive world."

In collaboration with its existing nonprofit partners Girl Up and Girls on the Run, Hershey will select five participants from Mexico, Brazil, Canada, India and the Philippines and five from the United States.

Each participant will receive a scholarship for higher education and attend a virtual leadership event led by Ms. Buck in March 2023.

In addition to creating the new program, Hershey will be providing additional funding and mentors for Girl Up and Girls on the Run.

“The world needs new solutions and new leadership now,” said Melissa Kirby, executive director for Girl Up. “With the right training, tools and platforms, we can reach empowered girl changemakers around the world and support them to become the innovative, inclusive and intentional leaders of a better tomorrow.”