Former PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi was presented with an honorary degree by the prestigious Yale University, her alma mater, in recognition of her achievements in business and for being a global role model who encouraged women and girls to see themselves as top corporate executives.
Nooyi, who received a degree in Master of Public and Private Management from the university’s Yale School of Management in 1980, was presented with the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
“Intrepid trailblazer, you have led with purpose, ascending the corporate ladder and encouraging women and girls to picture themselves in the C-suite. With brilliance and fortitude, you have embraced change, seized opportunities, and set an enduring example of success,” stated the citation for Nooyi at the university-wide commencement ceremony on May 20.
“Global role model, in recognition of your achievements in business and for society, we are honoured to present you with your second Yale degree, Doctor of Humane Letters,” it added.
In a tweet, Nooyi said she is honoured to receive the degree from a university that has played a significant role in her career.
“To receive this recognition is a profound honour and it is made all the more meaningful coming from a university that instilled in me so many of the values that drive my work. I am grateful to join the remarkable group of 2019 honourees who exemplify the spirit of @Yale,” she tweeted.
Nooyi was among 11 individuals to be presented with the honorary degrees for achieving distinction in their fields.
Others who received the honorary degrees included author and feminist activist Gloria Steinem, wildlife researcher Cynthia Moss, entrepreneur and philanthropist Strive Masiyiwa and Harvard University president Lawrence Bacow.
In 2006, Nooyi became the first woman to helm the global food and beverage giant PepsiCo. She stepped down in October 2 last year as PepsiCo’s CEO, after 24 years with the company, the last 12 as CEO of the global beverage giant.
She is celebrated for her leadership and her commitment to helping women achieve success.
Nooyi was recently elected to the board of Amazon, on whose audit compensation committee she sits. She is a member of the World Economic Forum board of trustees and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
She is also an independent director of the International Cricket Council and chair of the compensation committee at Schlumberger, an oilfield services company, on whose board she serves.
One of 25 women to have led a Fortune 500 company, Nooyi has appeared frequently on the Forbes and Fortune rankings of the world’s most powerful women.