HomeIndian AmericanFormer Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi shares her rise to the top

Former Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi shares her rise to the top

Indra Nooyi has been where most women don’t get the opportunity to go. The former Fortune 500 CEO who ran Pepsico from 2006 to 2018 was one of just 41 women CEO’s among the 500 companies when she retired.

Her new book My Life in Full, Work, Family and our Future will be released tomorrow by Portfolio.

According to the Economic Times, her book will detail her childhood in India to her education at Yale to her life climbing the career ladder.

She pushed the company to offer generous paid family leave and help with childcare, reports CBS News. When she became CEO, she had to juggle a family with a husband and two children.

“The biological clock and the career clock are in conflict. Some people are delaying childbirth for many, many years, freezing their eggs, or just not having children at all. Others are saying, ‘I can’t keep working, I can’t go through this rat race.’ So my point is, we’ve got to make it less of a rat race, ” she told CBS.

She’s also one of the few immigrants and women of color to reach her stature and says she worked twice as hard to reach the top. She hopes her story will make it easier for woman to break barriers.

“One foot on the break. One foot on the accelerator,” she explained to NBC.
“I was among the first group of women to go to college.” She graduated from Yale School of Management in 1980. “My family was like, let the girls dream.”

Often being the only women and person of color in the boardroom, she persevered despite not seeing people who looked like her.

“I see that people looked at me like she does not belong here. I would quickly establish I was a force to be reckoned with.”

She says work and life is not a balance, it’s a juggling act.

“Look, tradeoffs are part of everybody’s life. Being a mom, being an executive – how do I be the best at everything? – are painful, emotional tradeoffs. So, I think back at some of those and there is hurt. I feel pain, I feel a loss.”

She sees feminism and running a business go hand in had.

“Women are smart. They’re driven. They want the power of the purse. They want to work. They want economic freedom. Let’s harness their capabilities.” 

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