‘Women can’t have it all’

Indra Nooyi at her best.. Probably not! Every time I listen to her I think she is at her best.

I am referring to the video clip of her, on stage with chairman of Atlantic publications David Bradley (I think).

She says ‘I don’t think women can have it all, I don’t think’ ‘we pretend we have it all’…we think we can have it all’.

She says that every day she has to make decisions, as to who you are: a wife, mother, worker?

She then talks about how she is trying to be coping with all as the chairperson and chief executive of PepsiCo.

She says she has to co-opt a lot of people to support her in striking a balance. 

She employs a whole lot of coping mechanism. As example her daughters school had weekly class coffee with mothers. Her daughter came back every Wednesday saying ‘mom Mrs Ramachandran was there, Mrs Joseph was there, etc etc.. and you were not there mom’.

Indra Nooyi called the school for a list of moms who were not there. And it turned out to be a good coping mechanism for telling her daughter that Mrs…etc etc also were not there. Not a perfect solution, but…Then, otherwise you die of guilt.

The biological clock and the career clock are in conflict. Sometimes they work in opposite directions. When you have kids your career become demanding. By the time the children become teenagers, your husband also become a teenager!!

Then your parents may need you more….

What do you do? No perfect solution, but develop coping mechanism. Train people at work. Train people in the family..

She narrates an example of her PepsiCo travel time, the office code does not allow information on where senior people are traveling. One day her daughter called the office ‘I want to speak to mom’

The secretary knew who was calling (random people won’t ask for mom) and she ‘hello Tara how are you? Did you finish the homework? Did you drink the milk…. She went through the 7 pre designed questions and handled the situation.

A must watch video. Please ask me if you need the clip.

Build your support and coping systems.

Indra Nooyi is something like a super hero for me.

But I must admit, simple interaction with someone with pure qualities can turn you into a follower, admirer and the source of the support you need!

‘Women can’t have it all’

6 thoughts on “‘Women can’t have it all’

  1. Marykutty says:

    Saw the clip. Well said and admirably candid. I am a little sceptical about the coping mechanisms she employs. She is a big achiever and in a position to arrange things in a way to alleviate some of the guilt. How many women in ordinary walks of life can find some such means to cope, I wonder. From my personal experience of self and other similarly placed women, even families and society as a whole contributes towards aggravating one’s guilt feeling. Then one has to find one’s priorities and make some compromises to go ahead . In the process, you win some, you lose some.
    All said and done , can men have it all?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Certainly men can’t. The little success men can hope for will be if the respective women are happy and coping
      But the point here is that friends can play a big part in the coping mechanism that Nooyi is talking about. Support systems are very important
      It’s late, but never too late. Friends need to come together and set up the shield
      I am hearing people talking about having to move to old age homes. Is there an alternative?
      Let’s try a coping system among friends.
      Selfish- then be it!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s