As we at Teamery continue to celebrate women across the globe in this month where the focus is on #breakthebias, I would like to shine the light on Indra Nooyi – author of “My Life in Full”.
Arriving in America at the age of 23 and retiring after a 24-year career with PepsiCo, having held the position of Chairman and CEO for more than a decade – Indra is one of the most influential and inspirational women in the world.
Indra has just launched her Insight newsletter and the first topic was “International Women’s Day: The Day That Can’t Drift By”. She writes about how there is so little change for women between when she delivered her first IWD speech in 2007 and penning her first article for Insight in March 2022. She spoke then about women’s education, financial freedom, “the crawl to female leadership”, domestic violence and the lack of high-quality, affordable childcare, which she said, “can mean the difference between a good career and a miserable working life for mothers.”
In her Insight article, Indra asks “why is dramatic change for women so maddeningly slow?”. When she took up the post of CEO in 2006, she was one of only 11 CEOs in the Fortune 500. There are now 41. With the slight rise in the number of women who run countries (21) and the #MeToo movement, Indra believes that it is clear that “bias, including unconscious behaviour, curtails the careers of many people in most organisations”. The fact that not much has changed since her first IWD speech in 2007 led Indra to reflect that although some gains have been made, it requires both men and women in positions of leadership to enable women to become more equal in society by dismantling unconscious and conscious biases about women.
As a mother to her two daughters – Preetha and Tara – Indra reflects that “the twin demands that have defined me have always been my family and my work”. She believes that job flexibility and remote work for everyone who needs it should be entirely routine – enabling women to do what they need to do without feeling “loaded with emotional consequences.
Through sharing the wisdom gained as a woman of colour, a CEO, a mother, a wife and a daughter, Indra is a shining example of what it takes to #breakthebias.