Gerald (Jerry) Zezas

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Men and Women on Not the Same

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I have been a business student for my entire life. I have studied companies, CEOs, industries and markets for as long as I can remember, yet never have I heard as good an idea as I just heard during an interview with Pepsico CEO, Indra Nooyi on Bloomberg.
This woman realized that, as a grown woman, she still reveres her parents and wants them to feel proud of her. So she started writing to the parents of her managers. We’re talking about executives, some of whom are in their 40s, 50s, or 60s, some of them making 7 figure salaries. She makes it a habit to write to each of them, over 400 parents, every year, to tell them what their children are doing in the company, and how proud they should be of them. (she never writes anything bad).

The reaction from these high-powered executives, some of whom have thousands of people working for them, has been displays of emotion that she says she has never seen before. Grown men and woman come to her office in tears, thanking her for helping to make their parents proud.
I have always believed in equality between the sexes but never in some politically correct expression of similarity. It took a woman to have sufficient compassion and understanding of families to come up with an idea like that. I’ve never heard of any business idea which was more brilliant while being so compassionate.

The thought of it made me cry. This is what women bring to the executive table. Women and men are not the same. They should be equal, but never assumed to be similar. Those of us who do not recognize what women can bring to traditionally male roles do so to our own detriment.

The next time I’m in a position to do so, I will steal her idea. When I get my Doctorate (hopefully this year!) and start teaching college, I will use this episode as a case study.

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