2015 Global Women’s Forum – Part 6 featuring PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi

2015 Global Women’s Forum – Part 6 featuring PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi


Thank you Michelle, and thank you to
everybody around the world for joining in in this event. This was a vision just
about a year ago, and it’s just fantastic to see it coming
to life and it’s been a brilliant morning so far going through it. And I get the real privilege in this part
of the session. to talk to somebody who truly embodies what being global and being a
global leader is all about. And not only that, she
was part of the Forbes’ most powerful women
in business list for the world which is pretty much a
great feat to be. Indra Nooyi began her
career at PepsiCo more than twenty years ago, and in that
time she’s been a force behind the growth, the diversification and
acquisitions that they’ve made. And she is quite
remarkable in what she does. We as a company are
incredibly proud to be partnershipped with her business, but
also to have such a good relationship with her. One of the things that she did when she
became CEO in 2006 is she introduced something called
Performance with Purpose. One of the really important things
about that is that not only was it about the business overall, but it also said that
diversity and inclusion had to be something that was open and
available to all employees no matter where they worked. So please put your hands
together and help me welcome Indra Nooyi, CEO and chairman of PepsiCo. [Applause] Thank you so much for making the time to be with us today. I know you have a
very busy schedule and we really appreciate it. I’d like to start by asking you a
little bit about this performance with purpose: and sort of how that concept came in to being. And what role diversity and talent played within that for you and for the
organization. First of all, thank you for having me, Judith. It’s a
real privilege to be here at Walmart, and to be with all of you. You know, when I
became CEO in 2006 and my boss before that is here. Where’s Steve Reinemund? Steve! Steve, can you stand so people can
see you here? [Applause] I wanna save the amazing Steve Reinemund ,
but I’ll come to Steve Reinemund in just a while so that I can embarrass him as we
go along. It works. He’s your board member don’t
worry about that. I’m doing the embarrassing. I think at that time in 2006, it became amply clear that businesses not only had
to make money and perform, but they also had to have a
core, a purpose. And in many companies that I
was watching around the world, their purpose
was defined by corporate social responsibility programs, which is really saying we’re gonna make money, and then we’re gonna
spend the money by doing some projects. I thought we should change the dialogue
and say what if we made money differently? Not spend the money in a way but
actually make money differently. And so performance and purpose was
recasting how we made money. There were three planks to purpose.
Performance is performance of course. The three planks to purpose were, the
first one is a human sustainability. How do we transform our portfolio so that we can have a balanced range
of products from sort of fun for you to good for you. So how do we emphasize
the Quaker Oats and the Tropicana, The Naked Juice? I see some of you drinking Naked
Juice. How do we emphasize that as much as we
do Pepsi and Lays and Doritos? Because there’s a place for everything
in people’s lives. So that was the first part of the purpose plank. The second is
environmental sustainability. And I know that Walmart and us share the same goals
on environmental sustainability, to use less plastic, to use less
water, to reduce the carbon footprint. I think it
is good for society. It gives you license to operate in many
communities but it saves you money, so it made good business sense. And the
third was really the most important plank which was talent sustainability. How do we make sure we create an
environment at Pepsico where everybody can bring their whole
selves to work? And how do we move the ball forward to make sure that our employee base
reflects our consumer base? And how do we create an environment
where nobody felt discriminated against, where nobody
felt like they have to be somebody else in Pepsico?
It’s not easy to do that because you’ve got to change so many
things about the company, but this was a journey we started some time ago. We decided to accelerate the journey. And
those were the three parts of performance with purpose. And the amazing thing, Judith, is that
articulating performance with purpose has unleashed the passions of everybody
in Pepsico, because people feel a sense of emotional connection to the company. When
they talk about PepsiCo to the outside world, they’re not just talking about this
high-performance company, they talk about how we are changing the portfolio for the future
needs of consumers worldwide, how we’re doing the right thing for
communities, and how they’re so proud to work at PepsiCo because they can be a daughter, mother, wife, a
daughter-in-law whatever within PepsiCo as they are when they
leave PepsiCo. So it’s been you know sort of uplifting
for the whole company if you wanna call it that. I love the way that you can articulate
it so simply. And I’m sure that’s one of the
reasons why it’s resonated with everybody. And this concept of talent sustainability, I think is a great
phrase in it. You’re obviously really passionate about
it, and if you look at this whole talent thing and apply it to your career, phenomenally successful career, and
what are some of the challenges along the way that you faced and particular spotlight on being a women
within this? And kinda how are you helping to level
that within the organization? That’s a great question and I’d tell you
I want contrast a bit the time that I came into the workforce,
long, long time ago versus women coming to the work force
today, because I think we’re really looking at two different time frames and two different
environments. I go back and I first started work here in the United
States in 1980. And when I went to work at the Boston
Consulting Group, there were hardly any women there and, you
know, when you got staffed on a case, the guys got to pick all the fun
parts of the assignment, and you got left the dregs. So it was
tough because if you’re doing a case, I was working out of
the Chicago office, I loved the firm, don’t get me wrong. But the environment
was such if the case was for a client that had
headquarters in Chicago, and they had manufacturing in Waterloo, Iowa you know, No-name, Wisconsin, whatever,
the guys got all the Chicago assignments and I was commuting to all these little
towns. But at that point you didn’t have a
choice. You know, you’re only one of two women in
the firm or in the Chicago office, and that’s the environment, so you put up
with it. And, I’d say in those days us women worked
much harder than the men to really be noticed. I’d often say that if the men started on an even keel
we started in the hole. You know, 20-30 percent in the hole. So step
one we had to dig ourselves out of the hole and then even when you got to even keel, for every
step that you took it was counted as half a step. For every
step that the men took it was counted as two steps. So it was a disaster, okay? That was
old times. And the other thing that used to
happen is I remember couple of partners, when they talk to me
they never give me eye contact. It’s most disconcerting when the guys get the eye contact and
women didn’t. I’m not male-bashing, don’t get me wrong.
I’m just giving you a realistic story of life those days, okay? Life those days. I think it’s important you
understand how different the environment is today, because we’re
all working to make a difference. Fast forward today. I think even a firm
like BCG has got a lot of women, and that sort of behavior you’ll never
see in that firm today, but over time, as I moved through Motorola, Symbol, Brown Boveri and then
came to PepsiCo, I think the environment changed. For one,
more women coming into the work force which is a good thing. I think two: companies are now beginning
to realize that if fifty percent of the graduating students in colleges are
women, if a large portion of the technical,
professional degrees are being gotten by women and of all the top grades in colleges
are being gotten by women, how can you run a successful enterprise
unless you attract the best and the brightest. It happens to be a lot of the women, so
if you really wanna have a successful company, you’ve got to create a environment which
makes it welcoming of women and diversity. You’ve just got to, and
that’s a business necessity it’s not a nice to do, it’s an absolute
necessity. But you can’t bring women in and then have them leave, because that’s
more expensive and it creates a terrible, terrible impression of the
company. So you’ve got to figure out how it’s
not “in and out,” but “in and up,” and therein lies the
challenge. And the challenges, you know, within a
company, we talk about diversity and inclusion,
and I remember when Steve was CEO, he said “look, I’ve got to get a critical
mass of women and minorities into the company, because if you don’t have a critical
mass of people you can’t institute any programs.” So the
first step and the first 4 to 5 years which were very painful,
was actually score carding. Are we getting parity in hiring, parity
in promotions? I’ll be watching who’s leaving. So it was
first score carding, getting the right critical mass into the company. Once you
have the critical mass, how do you change behaviors in the
company? Now herein lies the challenge. You can do all
the diversity training, you can do all the inclusion training. Those are all
necessary. But you can’t do this training in
isolation, of watching how people behave in groups, how
people behave when they’re solving a problem Because if you don’t call people’s
behavior and say “look, that behavior was terrible, you know, how
you dealt with the woman or the diverse person.” I
think what happens is people say “I did the training because I had to do it, but then I can behave any which way I want.” And I think all these things have to be
addressed by senior leaders, men or women, and by us women serving as sort of a
network in a community of supporters for each other. And in many
cases, Judith, we have to become our own sisterhood
also, and I’ll give you an example. I’ve talked
about this many times. Sometimes during a presentation with men and women, you know, the men are presenting, they do something terrible. The first
break the guys go to the restroom and they tell they guy, “hey Bill, your presentation was
terrible. What the hell are you doing?” And he says “what did I do wrong?” They talk, a little fist bump, they come
back and everything is fine, okay? Now, let me contrast this. The woman does a bad job. Restroom, “Judith, you did a terrible job.” “Stop making
such a bitchy comment.” It’s gotta stop. We have to be willing to take feedback from each other. We have
got to be willing to trust each other that, you know, feedback from another
woman is constructive, and we have to learn to
give it and take it. And if we can accept each other as
mentors, if we can accept each other as supporters, I think as a group we will do better and move forward
faster. I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m
slightly worried about going to the restroom after this now. But I think that’s absolutely right, which is safe zone. Safe zone. Having the
confidence to be able to take the feedback. We’ll be
talking about confidence later, and then letting it go and moving on is
incredibly important as well as part of that. You mentioned
Steve earlier, and, you know, a need to
embarrass him perhaps as we go through this, but I was just wondering about
mentors for you and I know you and Steve work very closely together.
Tell us a little bit about mentors, and how they’ve helped you and helped you
through your career, and why you think it’s important
for other people now. I think that we have to be very careful on this issue of mentoring. Sometimes I get
letters from people: will you be my mentor? People I’ve never heard of, people I’ve
never met. But let’s understand what is a mentor? A mentor is supposed to
be a wise and trusted adviser to you. You cannot be wise or
trusted unless you know that person, okay? You just can’t be. And so I think it’s
very important that we understand what we mean when we say
mentor. in many ways mentors pick you, you don’t pick them. Because mentors pick
you because they like to hitch their wagon to you because they look good pushing you. And so you’ve got to always ask yourself the
question if you want somebody to mentor you, what are you gonna do to move the ball
forward significantly that the mentor feels like they want to be part of that ecosystem
of yours? And I hope, Steve, I did okay by you, that
you chose to mentor me. Okay? Steve was my biggest mentor in so many
ways. It wasn’t always easy because you can’t
have somebody as a mentor, and not listen to what they have to say. And if
you’re not gonna listen to them you better go back and tell them why you’re not listening to them.
Otherwise mentors feel terribly left out But I’m gonna give you one other perspective on Steve. Steve was a professional mentor to me, but remember
we talked about bringing your whole self to work? God knows
I had my set of issues because I was working all the time and I had two
little babies at home and I had to balance two daughters and a traveling husband and everything, and
there were times when I had to go to one school for one kid, deal with picking
up another daughter at school and Steve would say to me “fine, why don’t you go
to one school and I’ll pick up the other daughter and bring her. This is the CEO of PepsiCo
telling me this, okay? Talk about the support system in
PepsiCo. Doug? Sorry. I think we’re all wondering whether we should let Doug pick our kids up or not. I’m just imagining this bus. Don’t regret that you came here. I still
love you. I still love you, but the fact of
the matter is Steve did an enormous amount for me. So he
was not just my professional mentor. He was a personal support, and, you know,
a pain sometimes because he gave me advice that was tough to take I didn’t like it, but I think I’m a better
person today because of the fact that Steve invested so
much in me. So I think, it was not just Steve. There were
other people. Mentors don’t have to be your bosses alone.
They can be people from all walks of life; people who give you advice that’s sound, but they give you the
advice because they care about you they want you to move ahead. So, when you see somebody mentoring you, take
them seriously. Nurture them, and make sure you respect
them because if you don’t they’re gonna drop you. And I think that the thing about
mentoring is you have to assume positive intent. Absolutely. The person is telling you that
because they want you to get better I will tell you, and I’m, Steve I
hope you don’t mind sharing this, but when I first came into international and
I was working in the team there, you and I had a
conversation about how your role fits together with the CEO role, and I had a
strategy role at time, and he talked about how much you’d
helped him in that relationship as well. So I think
one of the things about mentoring we all have to remember it’s a two-way thing, and it’s really important on both sides
that you build for that. You are clearly creating this
environment, and have created this environment at PepsiCo where you are
trying to level the playing field for everybody within the organization.
As you think about sort of senior female leaders today, whether at Walmart or around the world, what can we do more
of to help level that playing field? Because the next generation that’s coming
through we want them to be even more successful than the generation that you’ve spoken about the shift in from
when you started to today. I think the first thing we can do, first
get the numbers in. It’s critically important because most of the time the
problem we have is that the pipeline looks skewed. We can’t get people into senior positions unless the
pipeline below them is robust, so we have to get the numbers in, and
then we’ve got to retain them. So everything that we can do inside the
company to provide support systems for women so they can, you know, be a mom,
or a wife, or a daughter and be an executive, we’ve got
to do all of it because each of them are full-time jobs, and
we’re asking people to perform brilliantly at each job, and even if
somebody’s not asking us to do it our DNA says we have to do it. That’s how
we are wired. So it’s very very difficult. But what can
we do inside the company? As you get senior in the company,
there’s one tendency that we all have to watch against, which is: when we are evaluating a
woman we’re looking at what’s wrong with the
woman, rather than let’s look at the record, and really, let’s
look at what she did right. Let’s really look at
it objectively. If there was no name of this person, whether it was a woman or a man, how would we evaluate this person? And I
think this is the one thing we really have to check ourselves on, because too often I’m finding that we tend
to look for those derailers when it comes to
evaluating women, and the more we push back and say “wait
a minute.” Why don’t we do the same when evaluating
other people? Why are we doing it for the women? I think we’ll find ourselves pushing more
women forward. That’s one. The second is I’ll be giving
honest feedback to women earlier in the process. I think we do women
a major disservice if we wait too late and then ding them
in their performance, when earlier in the process we could’ve given
them the right feedback, the right support, the right development in projects to make them address
some of the issues they may have had. So I think it’s important that if we
commit to having a certain number of women in senior
positions, let’s work the pipeline to pull them up, to give them a seat at the table, and
make sure we’re giving them the right and honest feedback to move forward. Because
it’s very simple as, Take my business and your business are 85 percent of the shoppers in stores are women. Gatekeepers are women in, you know, grocery
buying. So for both of us women are a critical, critical consumer base and an employee base. So we have to change internally to make sure the environment is right for
them to survive and thrive, and I think we have to keep
exchanging best practices so that we can you know, move this ball forward. I think what everybody can take from
that is whether you need a large teams, small teams wherever you are in your career, giving that honest feedback to
people early is really critically important, and
I love this concept of we should really think about having
facts when we make decisions about people, and encouraging everybody to be able to do it and see objectively as we bring
people forward. But just as we wrap up
let me ask you the one kind of key question in all of this, which is what’s the advice,
what is the advice you would give to the women and the generation that
are coming through to be successful in their careers? You just had a session with Katty Kay was it? That’s right. Confidence. I think the first thing we
all have to do as women is believe in ourselves. We are pretty damn good. Remember Well even Chairman Mao said women hold
up half the sky. Okay? Many times more than half the sky:
we are important so we have to have that confidence first, because if we don’t have
confidence in ourselves we start reflecting that uncertainty and
lack of confidence in our workplace. We have to generate our own tail winds
first. Point number two I’d really put your hand up for
difficult assignments. Sometimes when we take the safe assignments, we don’t get
noticed so let’s put our hand up for the difficult
assignments, and let’s get that out of the way as
soon as possible so people know that you can get the difficult assignments
done and you’re a doer. Third, in today’s world, do a global assignment, please. The world is a gigantic place, gigantic
place. You know, there’s seven and a half billion
people around the world, and if you can go out early in your
career, and do a global assignment, I think your
resume is so rich and so marketable, even within the
company. I think the sooner you do it the better.
And the last thing I tell you is a simple thing besides all the other
stuff people have told you: invest in communication skills. You know, when I came to Yale to go
to the business school, to graduate from the first year to go to the
second year, you had to pass an oral and written communications
course. In my life have never failed a course, and I failed that course. And me failing a
communications course. I was an ace debater. How did that happen? I grew up in an environment where you
lectured. You just sort of talked and everybody listened. And all of a
sudden you had to convince, you had to reach
out to people, you had to show empathy. And I failed the course. That was the best
thing that happened to me, Judith, because I had to relearn how to write logically, how to deliver
messages in a compelling way. And I’d say that did wonders for me, and
I strongly encourage all women who aspire
to move up take a course in communications. You know because the way you reflect your inner confidence is how you communicate, how you command
the room, how you bring people along with you and how you
hold their attention. So invest in a great communications course, because at the end of the day as you move up an
organization you’re not a one-man a one-woman person.
You’re commanding large groups of people, and you
have to effect change in any organization, so invest in
communication skills. If you did that, you know, besides being
competent et cetera et cetera I think you’ll do just fine. Thank you.
That’s just great advice for everybody, and I think you just given us an idea
for what our next set of skill training should be as we progress through
this journey. Indra, thank you very much indeed.You’re a,
clearly an inspiring leader in the way that you do this, and thank
you for helping to level set that playing field for everybody. Everybody, Indra Nooyi. (Applause)

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