Our latest profile is of another formidable businesswoman. Indra Nooyi is the Chief Executive of PepsiCo. A worldwide brand and household name, PepsiCo is globally one of the biggest FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) companies and at its helm is a woman. A passionate speaker and innovative leader she is trying to push boundaries for the company while retaining its impressive reputation and market share.
Born in India where opportunities for women to be business leaders is limited Indra was always a high achiever, focusing on the sciences in her early education then moving on to business and management. Most notable for us at WokHQ was an article that was an interview that she did with Huffington post talking about the need for women to work together and help each other more. She recounts an example to help make her point:
“Many times we’re in a presentation and the guy is giving a presentation, not going so well, so we call a break. They go to the men’s room. “Hey Bill, that was awful, your presentation. Fix it, man. Don’t gesture so much”. Little fist bump, they come back, and Bill’s doing fine.”
Woman does a terrible job and you walk into the women’s room and you go, ‘you know Mary, that was terrible, what were you doing?’ ‘God she’s so bitchy’. No! I’m trying to give you constructive feedback. So what we do is, we assume feedback from women mean something is wrong, if the same feedback came from men, we’d accept it. Or worse still, we don’t give the feedback the way we should.
Even though we know they’re not doing well because we go, ‘good she’s struggling, I can take that position’. I think we have to change our whole approach to supporting each other, taking advice from each other, seeking it out. One thing I feel very badly about is all my mentors in my life have been male. But then I sit back and say maybe I came into the work force at a different time. Let’s figure out how we can help each other way more than we are today.”