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‘I think husband and wife should both leave the crown in the garage’: Indra Nooyi

In a video interaction with indianexpress.com, Nooyi shared insights on how to enable an environment that allows progress for women

Indra-Nooyi-1200Read on to know more about what the former Pepsico CEO said. (Source: Indra Nooyi/Instagram)

Indra Nooyi’s legacy includes “performance with a purpose,” an emphasis on environmental concerns, sustainability, waste management, water conservation and renewable energy. In 2021, she released her memoir titled ‘My Life In Full‘, published by Hachette India.

Born in India, she received her business degree from the prestigious Yale University and then went on to head PepsiCo from 2006 to 2018. She is one of the few women — also the first woman of colour and an immigrant – to run a Fortune 500 company.

Recently, in a free-wheeling video interaction with indianexpress.com, Nooyi shared insights on how to enable an environment that allows progress for women while balancing work and family and the importance of balance when it comes to the ‘ideal worker’.

After speaking at length about the various aspects of the Indian economy, the importance of upskilling and much more, Nooyi mentioned her views about the famous “leave your crown in the garage” quote, associated with her mother.

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“I think the husband and wife should both leave the crown at the garage.”

She further explained how her mother’s perspectives have changed over the years and acknowledged that she is from a generation born a long time ago.

“My mother is a product of the silver generation born a long time ago, with very traditional values, but my mother today is very different. She believes both husband and wife should leave the crown in the garage and she often tells me, ‘Look you’re born to help people. Don’t get bogged down by too much work at home, go off and help people because people need help.’ I think my mother too has changed and there’s no question that family is family. Everybody should help nurture and develop the family, so when you do have one, everybody’s crown is left in the garage. Everybody becomes a family member when you enter the house with all the attendant responsibilities that go with it.”

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On being asked what could be done to enable an environment that allows progress for women while balancing work and family, she said, “From a practical perspective we have to rethink the ideal worker and my hope is that as we think about the future of work, we put families in the center and say, ‘How can we design the future of work that says parents need to give time to building and nurturing families, as well as engaging in paid work? How do we restructure the day? How do we engineer flexibility into the work day?’

“To enable this blend of work and family to happen, I’m not suggesting lowering the productivity standards and neither am I saying you just give half your attention to the kids and ignore them the rest of the time,” she continued.

She further explained, “I’m just saying between the husband and wife there’s got to be a judicious balance of the two both at home and at work. My hope is as we think post-COVID as to what the future of work should be, start with where’s family in this future of work and then work outwards, as opposed to saying work is gonna go exactly back to where it was.

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“I’m sure that if we did that it’s an opportunity wasted.”

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First published on: 21-03-2022 at 08:20 IST
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