I Don’t Think Women Can Have It All

wealthymatters“I don’t think women can have it all. I just don’t think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all. My husband and I have been married for 34 years. And we have two daughters. And every day you have to make a decision about whether you are going to be a wife or a mother, in fact many times during the day you have to make those decisions. And you have to co-opt a lot of people to help you. But if you ask our daughters, I’m not sure they will say that I’ve been a good mom. I’m not sure. And I try all kinds of coping mechanisms.

I’ll tell you a story that happened when my daughter went to Catholic school. Every Wednesday morning they had class coffee with the mothers. Class coffee for a working woman -how is it going to work? How am I going to take off 9 o’clock on Wednesday mornings? So I missed most class coffees. My daughter would come home and she would list off all the mothers that were there and say , “You were not there, mom.“I developed coping mechanisms. I called the school and I said, “give me a list of mothers that are not there.“So when she came home in the evening she said, “You were not there, you were not there.“And I said, “ah ha, Mrs. Redd wasn’t there, Mrs. So and So wasn’t there. So I’m not the only bad mother.”

You know what? When I’m in PepsiCo I travel a lot, and when my kids were tiny , especially my second one, we had strict rules on playing Nintendo. She’d call the office, and she didn’t care if I was in China, Japan, India, wherever. She’d call the office, the receptionist would pick up the phone, “Can I speak to my mommy?“ Everybody knows if somebody says,`Can I speak to mommy?’ It’s my daughter. So she’d say , “Yes, Tyra, what can I do for you?“ “I want to play Nintendo.“So she has a set of questions. “Have you finished your homework?“ Etc. I say this because that’s what it takes.She goes through the questions and she says, “Okay , you can play Nintendo half an hour.“ Then she leaves me a message. “Tyra called at 5. This is the sequence of questions I went through. I’ve given her permission.“ So it’s seamless parenting.

If you don’t develop mechanisms with your secretaries, with the extended office, with everybody around you, it cannot work. You know, stay-at-home mothering was a full-time job. Being a CEO for a company is three full-time jobs rolled into one.How can you do justice to all?You can’t. The person who hurts the most through this whole thing is your spouse. There’s no question about it. You know, Raj always said, you know what, your list is PepsiCo, PepsiCo, PepsiCo, our two kids, your mom, and then at the bottom of the list is me.  – Indra K. Nooyi

Indra was born the middle child in a South Indian Brahmin Family in Chennai. Her father Krishnamurthy was an accountant, her mother Shantha a homemaker. Her older sister Chandrika Tandon is chair of Tandon Capital Associates and younger brother Narayan Krishnamurthy is a hedge fund manager.Nooyi is married to Raj Kishan Nooyi. Raj owns and operates a software consulting business. They have two daughters– Preetha born in 1984 and Tara born in 1993 and reside in Greenwich, Connecticut. As of 2014 Preetha is attending the School of Management at Yale, Indra’s alma mater and Tara attends NYU. Forbes places Indra at the 3rd spot in the ‘World’s Powerful Moms’ list.

About Keerthika Singaravel

One Response to I Don’t Think Women Can Have It All

  1. Novica says:

    About class coffee thought it will be better for you both if you ask your daughter to go out with you to drink coffee in the cafe that she pick and sit together, sharing stories, laughing and build mom and daughter bound to replace your skip in class coffees rather than find justification for your inability to attend it

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