For Crying out Loud, Don’t Call PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi “Honey” Or “Sweetie”
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi was at Tina Brown’s Women in the World Summit last week, where she talked about her experience as the chief executive, a position she’s held for about a decade: “We clawed our way into the revolution in this work place. Then we needed parity in pay, not yet there we are still fighting for that.”
Nooyi also discussed how despite her position, she’s often spoken to in a condescending of infantilizing way. “We still have to have equal treatment. I hate being called sweetie or honey at times which I still am called. All that has got to go. We have got to be treated as executives or people rather than honey, sweetie, babe. That has to change.” Seriously, it blows my mind in that I’m-not-surprised-but-are-you-serious way that someone would refer to an adult woman who’s also the CEO of a Fortune 500 company as “sweetie” in a professional setting. The Street points out that Nooyi has almost doubled the company’s annual revenues share to $63 billion in her time at PepsiCo.
In her talk, the CEO also emphasized the need to make the workforce more integrated with personal lives. PepsiCo, for instance, is working on a daycare center so one doesn’t have to sacrifice a career for family. Nooyi also called for an examination of why women are constantly put in competition with one another, commenting “I think we have to change our whole approach to supporting each other taking advice from each other, seeking it out. The sisterhood has to become way stronger than it is today.”
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