In Australia the status of young women is improving, but in areas such as education and mental health there is still a clear distinction between men and women.

With overwhelming evidence that achieving equality and empowerment for women has an immediate beneficial impact on both individuals and society as a whole, The Coca-Cola Company has recognised a role to play in recognition of both the challenges faced by women as well as helping to enhance their economic potential.

That’s why in 2010 The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) made a global commitment to enable the economic empowerment of five million women by 2020. They named this program 5by20.

With beginnings in Brazil, India, the Philippines, and South Africa, TCCC’s 5by20 program has since reached 300,000 women across 12 countries.

Now 5by20 has reached Australia’s shores.


Unlike global 5by20 programs, which focus on women in developing countries, the Australian program will support young girls who are transitioning from education to meaningful employment.

5by20 in Australia

In Australia, the ability for women to earn an income and gain financial independence is still conditional on education and opportunity, something that remains a significant challenge in disadvantaged communities.

Partnering with The Beacon Foundation – a national not-for-profit tackling youth unemployment in Australia – Coca-Cola South Pacific and Coca-Cola Amatil Australia are launching an online mentoring program, designed to enhance Beacon’s current Work Readiness schools program.

Roberto Mercade

“Equality for young women in regards to education is one of the first steps towards ensuring women in Australia realise their full potential,” said Roberto Mercadé, Coca-Cola South Pacific president.

Noting the 19.3 per cent gap in Year 12 attainment between young Australian women from low and high socio-economic backgrounds, president at Coca-Cola South Pacific, Roberto Mercade, stressed the value the 5by20 program can provide for Australia’s young women.

“The Australian 5by20 program connects our Coca-Cola workforce with young disadvantaged women through valuable online mentoring to support their school experience, diminish drop-out rates and set young women up for a successful career and brighter future,” Roberto said.

“Equality for young women in regards to education is one of the first steps towards ensuring women in Australia realise their full potential.”

Beacon Foundation CEO, Scott Harris similarly spoke of their commitment to empower and inspire young Australians. “The Beacon Foundation is proud to be working with Coca-Cola Australia on the cutting-edge 5by20 mentoring program,” Scott said.

“This project and its innovative approach will make a pronounced impact on these young women at a critical time in their lives. The dedication and support of Coca-Cola Australia’s staff who have volunteered as mentors in the project is a critical part of the project’s success.”