where the country’s core values
are not the same as your values?
NOOYI: What we should not do
is draw undue negative attention
to us and infuriate a local society.
It’s like in Saudi Arabia, we want to
create an inclusive work force and
make sure women are in our work
force. You do that and you risk being thrown out of the country. We
don’t go out there and start beating the drums, saying we’re gonna
track how many women we have
in the company like we do here.
Instead, we watch every group to
make sure that we’re creating an
inclusive work force. We built a
non-carbonated plant, which is
just going to come on line. In one
part of the plant—I was just there
a few months ago—we’ve created
a screen between that part of the
plant and the rest of the plant so
don’t know if there has been any
unusual way of dealing with it
except that we have been very firm
in saying, “You cannot discriminate
based on that.” That’s in countries
where we’re even allowed to talk
about it. There are certain countries
where we’re not allowed to talk
about it and for the sake of all of
our employees, everyone has to be
careful about these sorts of things.
any nonprofits tied to traditionally underrepresented groups.
Why is that?
DIVERSITYINC: Speaking of values,
why do you not have a personal
quote about diversity on your corporate web site? Is there a reason,
or is that just an oversight?
NOOYI: I didn’t even think about
that. We’re redesigning our web
site, and I’ll make sure to put one
in. I am a walking example of diversity. I live it, breathe it, every day.
No one needs a statement from me
We DON’T SAVE LIVES here … we make
drinks and chips and nuts and seeds. Yet PEOPLE
come here with a MISSION, with a PASSION.
that women can come to work in
that part of the plant without looking at or dealing with the men.
We soften programs to make
sure we create the environment,
but I think it would be suicide to go
out there and say that we promote LGBTs or women, because
societally, it’s not accepted. While
in Rome, you have to do somewhat
what the Romans do, but you are
living up to PepsiCo in saying that
we want to create an inclusive
work force. How you interpret
“inclusive” has got to be tailored to
We’ve had LGBT issues, but I
to talk about me about diversity. If
you’re a white male, then you have
to put out a support-of-diversity
statement—I am diversity. Every
one of my executive committee
members has got a resource group
they have to work on and they
get hammered on this. I track this
every period. I’m not your normal
non-diverse CEO. I am everything
that this company has stood for in
diversity and inclusion; it has all
come together with me.
NOOYI: I am in every group that
you can think of. I cannot imagine
a month going by where I am not
in some group. Let me contrast
this. I sit on arts boards, I’m not
at every single board meeting and
told them that I don’t even want
to be on the board, but sometimes
they want me.
However, being on the board
is sometimes not as important
because you can be on lots of
boards and do nothing for it. It’s
what you do for those groups that
makes a difference. For example, I
mentor two people directly—one
African American and one Latina,
a middle manager—and last
month I went to Ron and I said I
found one more African American
that I want to mentor because I
saw something about this person
that I like very much.
Tomorrow, if I made two calls,
I can get on any Latino, African-American, Native American, any
board I want, but to me, being on
the board and not attending any of
the board meetings is tantamount
to doing nothing.
DIVERSITYINC: You’ve talked a lot
in interviews about your mother
and how she had a lot of ambition for you and that she had very
traditional values. How do you
reconcile the demands of your
position with your heritage that’s
based on a woman always putting
domestic values first?
DIVERSITYINC: You are on boards
of arts nonprofits yet do not have
a formal leadership position with
NOOYI: It’s something she used
to tell me. She said, “They can take
the CEO away from you, but they
can’t take the woman away from
you; they can’t take your husband