PepsiCo’s Empowering Women
In the spirit of it being #WomensMonth we thought it befitting to celebrate and acknowledge a super-woman who has made it her mission to support women and girls globally, while leading a Fortune 500 brand, PepsiCo. Indra Nooyi has been named #1 most powerful woman in the world more than once by Forbes Magazine’s The Most Powerful Women in the World and is unarguably one of the most effective leaders our generation has seen while guiding the brand to focus on working with a purpose.
Indra Nooyi on PepsiCo's mission of 'Performance with Purpose'.
Not only has the PepsiCo brand invested $100 million to support women and girls globally, they’re also focused on creating an environment whereby which every employee within PepsiCo is able to bring their whole self to work.
In an interview with Fast Company, Nooyi made an eye-opening statement, “More than 50% of people who are graduating from colleges and professional schools, are women. And some of the top grades are being earned by women.” In fact worldwide the female talent pool entering the workforce is continually growing in some markets this growth is exponential as education is more readily available.
However, herein lies a major issue that businesses are facing. A woman will start off very well and strong within a company, but should she choose to get married and start a family, her career comes to an end because many companies do not or are unable to provide these women with the support systems they need to be able to juggle both. This ultimately forces women to have to choose between having a family life and having a career.
This creates a long-term problem for companies because they end up losing valuable employees. Nooyi has openly addressed the personal issues she’s had trying to balance being a wife, mom and highly successful business woman. To combat this issue within the company, PepsiCo has provided its employees with the following support; day care centres, flexi-time, maternity and paternity leave. This support system gives the employees the opportunity to make a living while still having a fulfilling family life.
Not only is Nooyi passionate about helping PepsiCo’s employees, but she is also concerned with the empowerment of women worldwide. The brand actively fights discrimination and believes that in educating a woman, you are ultimately educating and improving society overall.
This has a direct effect on improving the brands’ consumer base. In Saudi Arabia, PepsiCo only have women working in their quality-control labs. In their manufacturing labs, there is a wall separating the men from the women (as per religious law). In doing so, PepsiCo has created an environment in which women are able to come to work.
When being interviewed by David Bradley from The Atlantic, Nooyi stated that women “still can’t have it all” because every day the decision needs to be made as to whether you will be playing the role of wife, mother or career women.
Yet as a brand, you need to be gearing your business operationally to empower women around you by providing them with the support structure they need so that they can remain assets to your business.
Safian, R. (2017, January 9). How PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi is Steering the Company Toward A Purpose-Driven Future. http://bit.ly/2ioqZrx
Snyder, B. (2016, June 3). Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi shares the most valuable management advice she’s ever received. http://read.bi/2ipU4Tq
Friedersdorf, Conor. (2014, July 1). Why PepsiCo CEO Indra K. Nooyi Can’t Have It All. http://theatln.tc/2vn8hSs