Former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi spoke about the impact of paid leaves on her life, stressing that her experience should not be an exception but the norm.
Recalling how she went on a paid leave in the early stage of her career to take care of her father, she said she worries about people who do not have access to this facility at their workplaces. It was while Nooyi was working at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) when her father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
“If the first paid leave at BCG when my father was diagnosed with cancer was not given to me, I don’t know what the trajectory of my life would have been because I would have had to quit the job because my family came before everything else and I was going to take care of my father,” she said in a conversation with PBS.
Nooyi said she did not “abuse” her paid leave and went back exactly after three months and two days as her father died at the end of three months.
“And even though they gave me six months, at the end of three months, he died. And three months, two days, I was back at work. So I didn’t abuse the paid leave. I really worry about people who don’t have access to any paid leave.”
Indra Nooyi, one of the most powerful business leaders in the world, has often spoken about her personal and professional journey, and about the challenges of rising up the corporate ladder as an immigrant woman in the United States.
The 66-year-old is one of the two Indian-origin women to become a global CEO, the second being Chanel’s new boss Leena Nair.