What were your ambitions when you were a child?
I grew up with my parents telling me that I could achieve anything I set my mind to. This encouragement has shaped my approach in all I’ve done.
How did you set about achieving them?
With determination and an eye to the future. At 23, I asked my parents if I could apply to American universities. They did not want me to go but said, “If you get in with a 100 per cent scholarship, we can talk about it”. So I applied to Yale, which gave me a very good support package, so I had something to negotiate with my parents.
What are you most proud of?
The privilege of leading a company that is a force for good. I am very proud of what we have achieved in bringing together what is good for business and good for society.
What was the most significant event in your career?
Becoming chairman and CEO of PepsiCo.
Who had the biggest influence on you?
No one person. My mother taught me to be my whole self, whether at work or at home. My father taught me to always assume positive intent in others. And my life would be vastly different, for the worse, but for the support and encouragement of my husband.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Running a $40 billion global company is a privilege and a responsibility. Balancing the competing priorities of work and home is always a challenge.
What are the secrets of your success?
I don’t look at it as success for me, but rather what I strive to do as CEO for the company, which is to bring a combination of an “outside in” approach to the business, experiential learning, bold moves, bold decisions, framing it for the organisation and sticking to it.
What advice would you give to women in the work place?
Focus wholeheartedly on what is at hand. When at work, I focus 100 per cent on being a CEO; when at home, I focus 100 per cent on my family.
What makes PepsiCo a place where women want to work?
Diversity and inclusion is woven into the fabric of our company. This focus comes from our drive to create a culture that not only provides incentives such as flexible work but an environment where people can combine a wonderful can-do spirit with a must-do sense of responsibility.