“No. Women Can’t Have it All”- Indra K. Noonyi, First Female CEO, Pepsi

1 June 01, 2017 By Dang

“Women can’t have it all”- Indra K Noonyi

“I joined PepsiCo in 1994 and in 2006 I became first female Chairperson and CEO. None of it would have been possible without my husband’s support. He opted for early retirement from the military to support the home fully. If you want a career, always pick the right husband. I did and here I am.”

As a woman, I worked harder. I had to

“I still need to keep a balance between work and family…my mom wont let me fail on my duties at home. On the day I received the news that I would become CEO of PepsiCo, I closed work early to break the news to my family. I got home about 10 pm, got into the garage, and my mother was waiting at the top of the stairs. And I said, “Mom, I’ve got great news for you.” She said, “Let the news wait. Can you go out and get some milk?” Read:Every Woman Must work no Matter How Small -Oke Maduewesi, CEO of Zaron Cosmetics

I looked in the garage and it looked like my husband was home. I said, “What time did he get home?” She said “8 o’clock.” I said, “Why didn’t you ask him to buy the milk?” She said, “He’s tired.” Okay. We have a couple of help at home, “why didn’t you ask them to get the milk?” She said, “I forgot.” She said just get the milk. We need it for the morning. So like a dutiful daughter, I went out and got the milk and came back.
I banged it on the counter and I said, “I had great news for you. I’ve just been told that I’m going to be president on the Board of Directors. And all that you want me to do is go out and get the milk, what kind of a mom are you?”

And she said to me, “Let me explain something to you. You might be president of PepsiCo. You might be on the board of directors. But when you enter this house, you’re the wife, you’re the daughter, you’re the daughter-in-law, you’re the mother. You’re all of that. Nobody else can take that place. So leave that damned crown in the garage. And don’t bring it into the house. You know I’ve never seen that crown.”

“I don’t think women can have it all. I just don’t think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all. My husband and I have been married for 34 years. And we have two daughters. And every day you have to make a decision about whether you are going to be a wife or a mother, in fact many times during the day you have to make those decisions. And you have to co-opt a lot of people to help 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 they will say that I’ve been a good mom. I’m not sure.”

“My observation is that the biological clock and the career clock are in total conflict with each other. Total, complete conflict. When you have to have kids you have to build your 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’s the time your husband becomes a teenager too, so he needs you (laughing). They need you too. What do you do? And as you grow even more, your parents need you because they’re aging. So we’re screwed. All in all, I think I’m a decent enough mom and wife. My husband and I are still married.


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