Women

07.03.14

PepsiCo CEO Cool With Not Having It All

In a refreshingly honest interview, the CEO of PepsiCo shares how she hasn't been the best parent – and how other working moms can cope.

While some of the world's most powerful women might urge mothers to lean into work-life balance, the CEO of PepsiCo Indra K. Nooyi admitted that she doesn't have it all. Chatting with The Atlantic owner David Bradley at the Aspen Ideas Festival on Monday, Nooyi confessed, "We plan our lives meticulously so we can be decent parents. But if you ask our daughters, I'm not sure they will say that I've been a good mom." As she spilled stories about struggling to be a fully attentive mom, it was clear that despite her position, this is a woman who can still connect with the average working mother. "You have to cope, because you die with guilt," Nooyi said. "The biological clock and the career clock are in total conflict with each other." Her insistence on the importance of developing coping mechanisms and her candor just may help shift the conversation, so that it's not about how women can have it all, but about how women can do their best with what they have.