Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Indra Nooyi and Indian Management

indra nooyi made it to the top of PepsiCo, and became the 11th woman to run a Fortune 500 company. this is great, especially as she is someone who has always been proud of her indian origin and the fact that she is a woman. She is also now the most famous graduate of the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. I'm from there too and it is sooo nice to hear of a woman alum who didn't give it all up to raise a family.

What is surprising though is that despite its very forward-looking culture the US has so few women CEOs. the glass ceiling exists in India too, but it does come as a surprise that it is so pervasive in the US. At the Forbes Exec Women's Forum earlier this year, this was discussed along with themes like women's empowerment etc. Gloria Steinem was a guest. I was the only woman from India, and it was my first ever women's conference. I felt a bit out of place - the IT industry in India seems to have sheltered me from many of the issues that were being discussed. but hey, we don't yet have a woman ceo in this industry, and it does seem to be dominated by middle-aged men :) I guess Indra Nooyi's hard as nails women-have-to-be-twice-as-good-as-men attitude will get us there.

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