Flexible Working stories from the WORK180 partner network: PepsiCo

NAWO (National Association of Women in Operations) Sep 19, 2019

NAWO (National Association of Women in Operations) knows that flexible working is not only positively linked to increased work satisfaction, it also supports gender equality, enabling women's participation and supporting their success in the workplace. Across the operations industries we are seeing momentum build in member companies offering employees the flexibility to align high performance work with their other priorities. NAWO’s Gold Member PepsiCo are committed to providing a range of flexible work practices to assist employees balance their personal responsibilities and lifestyle with work.

Two women balancing their priorities are Merima Baralic and Anna Lowndes...


My name is…

Merima Baralic

My job is…

Communications and Consumer Relations Director, Asia, Middle East and North Africa

I want to see…

More organisations follow PepsiCo’s lead and ensure gender balance and diversity across their organisations. If you think about leadership teams and the role they play in their organisations, it’s a huge competitive advantage to be diverse, in thought, background, experience and gender so that different perspectives are brought to the table.

Diversity is important to me because…

…it means a bigger pool of ideas and experiences, more robust decision making and ultimately a more fun and engaging working culture. For organisations wanting to retain and attract talented people, one of the best ways to do that is to build a diverse company and harness the true power of diversity. The clear link between diversity and business performance is the icing on the cake.

How PepsiCo’s policies have assisted me and my team…

As a mum of two, PepsiCo’s parental leave policy gave me the freedom to take time off and be with my loved ones when I needed it the most. The policy goes beyond just allowing employees to stay within the workforce when on parental leave but also allows them to stay financially independent.

Today PepsiCo’s flexible working policy allows me to work from home and flex my hours based on my priorities and tasks. Given my Australia-based role spans across Asia, Middle East and North Africa I can adjust my working hours to make sure I am achieving my deliverables but not compromising on time with my family and stressing about school drop offs and pickups. I also encourage this within my team and try and role model these policies every day.

For many of us this flexibility is what allows us to stay in our roles and not have to compromise between work and life outside work. I have found we have more loyal and engaged employees because of our people policies.


My name is…

Anna Lowndes

My job is…

Senior R&D Manager

I want to see…

More diversity in the workplace and I’m particularly passionate about more females working in STEM-related careers. In Australia only 25% of the STEM workforce is female and I feel incredibly proud that here at PepsiCo my team is over 60 percent female.

Diversity is important to me because…

It leads to the sharing of different perspectives and experiences which is critical to any organisation’s success and it creates a culture that’s inclusive, engaging and just fun to be a part of.

How PepsiCo’s policies have assisted me and my team…

PepsiCo’s parental leave scheme and flexible workplace policies are critical to retaining talent and encouraging parents to remain in the workplace. As a Mum of two, I start work early which means I can finish early and spend quality time with my sons before they go to bed. If I then still have work to do, I can log in from home to catch up. I like to think that leaving early sets a great example to my team of how balance is important and that PepsiCo will support them in achieving work life balance.

Want to learn more?

Listen to NAWO's podcast 24/7 Flexibiltiy at PepsiCo! with Jason Webster, Senior Supply Chain Leader and Plant Manager at their Tingalpa site, and Stephanie Ridge, HR Manager,to hear more about benefits of flexible working at PepsiCo.

Subscribe to our HR professionals newsletter and keep informed about the latest news and information on inclusion and diversity, hear what other employers are doing to attract women into their organisations and read inspiring stories from candidates.

About the author

NAWO (National Association of Women in Operations)

NAWO is an incorporated not-for-profit association lead by an unpaid Board of dedicated senior professionals who are driven by NAWO’s vision. By providing access to inspiring networks and knowledge, our ultimate aim is to inspire change. Everything we do drives towards our vision for a world where women and men can be equally represented and valued at every level. Our mission is twofold: We work hard to inspire women at each stage of their career journey – from graduates to senior leadership in the operational sector or operational roles – to take charge of their own careers and achieve their chosen career goals. In addition to supporting women, NAWO strives to inspire our member companies to generate practical solutions to attracting, retaining and developing their pipeline of female talent.

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