“I never asked for a pay rise,” says ex-Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi
âI never, ever asked for a raise,â Nooyi said in an interview with The New York Times Magazine this week. “I find that fishy. I can’t imagine working for someone and saying my pay isn’t enough.”
Only 31 women run S&P 500 companies, and that number was even smaller when Nooyi stepped down in 2018. Those who do tend to earn less. In her final year on the job, Nooyi didn’t rank near the top for executive compensation in public companies in the United States – most women did not. That year, Safra Catz of Oracle Corp. was the highest-paid female CEO in Bloomberg’s executive compensation rankings, ranking 33rd on the list.
âI never asked my board to give me more money,â Nooyi said in the New York Times interview. âIn fact, one year the board gave me a raise and I said, ‘I don’t want that.’ They said, ‘Why not?’ It was right after a financial crisis, and I said, ‘I don’t want a raise.’ “
In the beginning, when Nooyi was still at Pepsi, a body of research suggested that women did not negotiate their wages as often as men, which could contribute to the gender pay gap. Sheryl Sandberg’s âLean Inâ told women to just ask and they would receive. Since then, research from McKinsey & Co. and LeanIn.org has found that women participate in the process just as much as men. But, there was a catch. : They were less likely to get them, which might explain their initial reluctance.
Nooyi now sits on the board of directors of Amazon.com Inc. and recently published a brief titled “My Life in Full”.
Since his tenure at Pepsi, CEO pay has only grown and last year only five of the top 100 highest paid executives in the country were women.
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