SAN FRANCISCO (CBS) — Can working moms have it all?
Women in the Bay Area and all over the country were asking just that, after a high-powered CEO lit up the Internet with her comments about women balancing family and their careers.
“If you ask our daughters, I’m not sure they’ll say I’ve been a good mom,” PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi told a crowd at the Aspen Ideas Festival this week. “I’m not sure.”
Women and their careers have become a hot button topic in Silicon Valley lately — with Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer taking a brief maternity leave and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg writing her book, “Lean In.”
Nooyi feels women who strive for more success at work have to sacrifice more at home.
“I don’t think women can have it all, I just don’t think so… we’re screwed…we cannot have it all,” she told the crowd.
She said that finding a work life balance has been tough — and humbling.
She described the night she found out she’d been named CEO of PepsiCo. She pulled into the garage and was greeted by her mother.
“I have great news,” Nooyi said.
“Can you let the great news wait…and get some milk,” asked her mother.
Nooyi went out and got the milk, came back and banged it on the counter and said, “I had great news for you — I’ve just been told I’m going to be President of the Board of Directors for PepsiCo, and all you want me to do is go out and get the milk — what kind of Mom are you?”
Her mom replied, “Let me explain something to you. You might be President of PepsiCo, you might be on the board of directors, but when you enter this house – you are the wife, you are the daughter, you are the daughter-in-law, you’re the mother, so leave that damn crown in the garage.”
Women in San Francisco’s financial district don’t disagree with Nooyi’s take on things.
“I kind of wonder why we should expect why we should be able to have it all,” said Kathy Christ. “I think it’s sort of an unrealistic premise to start with.”
Christ is a working mom, even on the eve of the July 4th holiday.
“Our office closed at 3, we left at 5,” said Christ.
Nooyi said if her daughters have had it tough without a full-time mom — her husband Raj has had it even worse.
One day he told her, “Your list is PepsiCo, PepsiCo, PepsiCo, your two kids, our two kids, your Mom and the bottom of the list is me.”
Nooyi laughed and told him, he should be happy he is on the list.