Exemplary Leader: Indra Nooyi
The foundation for developing an effective diversity management program relies on leadership commitment and the CEO should communicate the organization’s position on diversity management and his or her sincere belief in the importance of diversity (Cañas & Sondak, 2010). Indra Nooyi, the current Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, is a leader who demonstrates a strong passion for managing diversity. In this paper I will be discussing Indra Nooyi’s personal and professional background, the status of diversity within PepsiCo before her role as CEO, the leadership philosophy on managing diversity Indra Nooyi has taken, the strategies she has used to implement diversity management, and her diversity related goals. I will conclude with a discussion on the current status of PepsiCo in terms of diversity, their future diversity goals and how Nooyi’s diversity management efforts have affected the overall success of the company as a whole.
What Makes a Leader?
Personal and Professional Background
How a person is raised, their personal experiences, spiritual beliefs and education greatly affect their view on the world, and it is these unique factors that help formulate an individual’s personal leadership abilities. Indra Nooyi was born and raised in Madras, India. She came to the United States in 1978 at age 23 to earn her M.B.A. at Yale, despite her parents telling her she was out of her mind and should have stayed in India and gotten married (Useem, 2008). Nooyi credits her upbringing for instilling her competitive work ethnic that still drives her today. Her parents taught her, “if you do a job, you must do it better than anybody else” (Bullock, 2010, para 5). While in college Nooyi played cricket and electric guitar in an all-female rock band, these experiences taught her the importance of having fun while working hard. Nooyi credits her Hindu heritage as helping her to balance running a $43 billion company with nearly 200,000 employees as well as a household with two children. Nooyi says that, “there are times when the stress is so incredible between office and home, trying to be a wife, mother, daughter-in-law, and corporate executive. Then you close your eyes and think of a temple like Tirupati, and suddenly your feel ‘Hey – I can take on the world.’ Hinduism floats around you, and makes you feel somehow invincible” (Bullock, 2010, para. 12). Today Nooyi remains profoundly personal calling her mother in India twice a day. She believes when the job is done, “what you’re left is family, friends, and faith” (Useem, 2008, para. 11).
Nooyi continues to challenge herself and her professional experience showcases an impressive background worthy of her current role as CEO and President of PepsiCo, which she assumed on October 1st of 2006. Nooyi began her career in India, where she held the title of product manager for Johnson and Johnson and Mettur Beardsell, Ltd., a textile firm. Between 1986 and 1990 she worked for Motola,...