Indra Nooyi – India-born PepsiCo CEO, the 13th most powerful woman in the world according to Forbes while speaking at the recent Aspen Ideas Festival candidly shared her journey leading one of the world’s largest corporations while trying to raise her two children. Not sticking with the clichéd, Nooyi spoke of challenges that so many professional women struggle with today, admitting that ‘women can’t have it all’. These are excerpts from Nooyi’s Aspen Festival interview.
Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi in the debate at the recent aspen Ideas festival said – it is a lot difficult for her to maintain the demands on her both at personal and professional fronts.
Indra Nooyi is ranked 13th on Forbes’ Power women’s List. Nooyi shared her journey as t how she raised up her two kids while she was also the leader of the world’s biggest corporation. The 58 year old said ” You have to cope, because you die with guilt.You just die with guilt.”
Nooyi openly speaks on the challenges that professional women face in todays world. Her frank and honest opinion was both refreshing and inspiring at the same time.
Her talk with Atlantic Media David Bradley is as follows:
“I don’t think women can have it all. I just don’t think so. We pretend we have it all. My husband and I have been married for 34 years. And we have 2 daughters. And every day you have to make a decision about whether you aqre going to be a wife or a mother, in fact many times during the day you have to make those decisions. An you have to co-opt a lot of people to hep you. We co-opted our families to help us. We plan our lives meticulously so we can be decent parents. But if you ask our daughters, I’m not sure that will say that I’ve been a good mom. I’m not sure. And I try all kinds of coping mechanisms.”
“Train people at work. Train your family to be your extended family. If you don’t develop mechanisms with your secretaries, with the extended office, with everybody around you, it cannot work. You know, stay at home mothering was a full time job. being a CEO for a company is three full time jobs rolled into one. How can you do justice to all? You can’t.”
“My Observation is that the biological clock and career clock are initial conflict with each other. Total, complete conflict. When you have to have kids you have to build a career. Just as you’re rising to middle management your kids need you because they’re teenagers, they need you for the teenage years.
And that the time your husband becomes a teenager too, so he needs you. They need yo too. What do you do? As you grow even more, your parents need you because they are ageing.
So we’re screwed.”