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'Cringeworthy': Indra Nooyi on why she never asked for a raise

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Nooyi said she and her family lived in the same house for over 30 years and did not move into a bigger apartment even when she was a became a CEO. As PepsiCo chief, she earned a little more than $31 million in 2017, her last full year at the company’s helm

'Cringeworthy': Indra Nooyi on why she never asked for a raise
Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo, had never asked for a salary hike and even turned down a raise during the financial crisis.
“I’ve never, ever, ever asked for a raise,” Nooyi told the New York Times Magazine in an interview this week. “I find it cringeworthy. I cannot imagine working for somebody and saying my pay is not enough,” she added.
Nooyi was the chief executive officer at Pepsi from 2006 and 2018. According to Bloomberg, Nooyi did not rank close to the top executive compensation in the final year of her service. The same year, Bloomberg’s ranking of executive compensation named Oracle Corp’s Safra Catz as the highest-paid female CEO at number 33 on the list.
“I never asked my board for more money. Whatever they gave me is much more than I would have ever had. In fact, one year the board gave me a raise and I said, ‘I don’t want it.’ They said, ‘Why not?’ It was right after a financial crisis, and I said, ‘I don’t want the raise’,” she said in the interview.
Nooyi’s compensation in 2017, her last full year at the company’s helm, was a little more than $31 million.
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Talking about her lifestyle, Nooyi said she and her family lived in the same house for over 30 years and did not move into a bigger apartment even when she was a CEO.
“We grew up without much money and that philosophy has never left us,” she said.
Asked if her decision to turn down a raise was a gendered one, she said “I think it’s me, just me.”
According to Bloomberg, a body of research conducted between 2000 and 2009 showed that women did not negotiate their salaries as frequently as men, which may have contributed to the gender pay gap.
Later, studies conducted by McKinsey and LeanIn showed that women were just as engaging in asking for raises and promotions as men. However, such women were often viewed as "intimidating" and "aggressive."
A report by Harvard Business Review in 2018 showed men negotiated their hikes more successfully. The success rate of women was 15 percent, while that of men was 20 percent.
Nooyi, who recently published a memoir called My Life in Full, is currently a member of the Amazon board.
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