How You Can Prove Indra Nooyi Wrong

“How you can prove Indra Nooyi Wrong” was originally posted by hint Founder & CEO, Kara Goldin, on LinkedIn here:

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandburg has famously called on legions of working women to lean in. Think you have to choose between motherhood and career? It’s not an either/or proposition. Lean in and do both, she proclaims.

But recently, PepsiCo CEO Indra K. Nooyi caused quite a stir when she spoke frankly about work-life balance (or lack thereof) at the Aspen Ideas Festival. “I don’t think women can have it all,” she said. “We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all.” She goes as far as to wonder aloud if she’s a good mother. “We plan our lives meticulously so we can be decent parents,” she said about her and her husband’s parenting style. “But if you ask our daughters, I’m not sure they will say that I’ve been a good mom.”
I am a wife, mother of four children, and Founder and CEO of Hint Water (drinkhint.com). I believe right to my core that people have to do what is right for them. Women have enough guilt, it’s not necessary to create additional pressure than what already naturally exists. I do believe, however, that you can succeed in a high powered job and integrate work and family to “have it all”. Below are my top three tips for making it happen:

1. Size matters. If you work at a start-up or a small business, you’re already automatically a part of a close-knit work family. Embrace it. Your co-workers are your teammates in a larger sense. Sure, everyone works hard. And your manager will probably be respectful of the time you put in, and also more apt to be flexible when it comes to schedules or working remotely. You likely won’t find that kind of family-friendly and supportive atmosphere over at a huge corporation.

2. Mission possible. I’ve talked before about how important it is for a business to have a clearly-defined mission. And the same is true for employees, too. When you work for smaller companies with a mission—versus larger companies that are continuing to push the same old products—it’s easier to feel inspired. What’s more stimulating than doing something brand-new? Or innovating all the time? Your passion and enthusiasm for your career will invariably show through when you come home, and I guarantee your kids will feed off your sense of purpose. No matter what age they are, your children will somehow understand what you are trying to do: Change the world. (As opposed to say, a job where you’re tasked with simply pushing a stock price.)

3. Incorporate family into work. I’m lucky that I get to work with my husband at Hint. My kids weigh in all the time on Hint’s social media campaigns, and they are not afraid to tell us when a post comes across as inauthentic or just…lame. Even if you can’t physically take your family to the office, talk about your big wins at work at the dinner table with your family. Your kids will get to see another side to their mother. And I promise the positive impact of these conversations will stay with them forever.