May 12, 2021  

3 women at PepsiCo on what empowerment means to them
Meet three associates who have challenged themselves to grow as leaders.

It should come as no surprise that there are boundary-busting, glass ceiling-smashing, awe-inspiring women across every department and function at PepsiCo. In fact, there are so many impressive women throughout PepsiCo that Paula Santilli, chief executive officer of PepsiCo Latin America, and Monica Bauer, VP of corporate affairs and sustainability for PepsiCo Latin America, chose to feature some of them in their book Empowering You, Empowering Her. The book, which was cowritten with business coach Marty Seldman, came out last year and has been newly translated into English.

Each of the more than 20 women in Paula and Monica’s book has overcome challenges in getting to where they are, whether it’s expectations of women in their home country or the confines of their own comfort zones. With the goal of empowering and celebrating women now and always, we’re spotlighting three associates who represent the power of perseverance and self-determination. Their achievements are remarkable — and made only more so when you consider the many other PepsiCo women they represent.

Jenice Pua

Jenice Pua
Director of Plant Operations,
Frito-Lay, California

Jenice, who was raised in California by parents who immigrated from the Philippines, has been at PepsiCo since she graduated from UCLA in 2008. What she initially imagined as a brief post-grad gig has blossomed into a 13-year career that now has her managing over 700 employees and ensuring that both production goals and safety and quality conditions are met. “One of the reasons I've stayed with PepsiCo is because I have been embraced and valued as a female leader,” she says.

She credits mentors she’s had along the way for encouraging her to pursue opportunities she might not otherwise have felt qualified for, like a global immersion assignment in Guatemala. “I’ve challenged myself to grow out of my comfort zone and overcome fears I had about leaving the area where I grew up,” she says. “Having supportive mentors and colleagues really helped me through that.”

She hopes that now, as a plant leader, she can inspire other women to embrace new and potentially challenging experiences as well. “Sometimes,” she says, “you have to be okay with being the person who’s paving the way and taking others along with you.”

Lina Ghalayini

Lina Ghalayini
Sales Operations Manager,
PepsiCo, Saudi Arabia

“You cannot control how someone sees you,” Lina says of her experience as a young woman in the workforce. “But you can control what you do — and for me, I chose to fight to advance in my career.”

Lina represents a rapidly growing number of Saudi women choosing to pursue careers. In 2015, just 13% of the Saudi workforce was made up of women, but by 2019, that number had grown to 34%. She started at PepsiCo in 2017 as a key account manager and is the first woman within the Saudi Arabia office to be promoted to sales operations manager. “PepsiCo has always given me the support to grow,” she says.

For Lina, her achievements are a powerful way to challenge the status quo. “I work to change gender stereotypes through my leadership,” she says. It’s a mindset that has already propelled her to success, and she hopes other women reading her story will feel inspired to do the same. “I want them to see that they, too, can accept the challenge.”

Shurouq Elkrenawi

Shurouq Elkrenawi
Quality Control Shift Manager,
SodaStream, Israel

Shurouq began working at SodaStream’s Lehavim, Israel location when she was just 19 years old. Now age 25, she ensures that all products coming out of the plant meet quality and efficiency standards. One-third of the SodaStream workforce, including Shurouq, are Bedouin, and it’s uncommon in their culture for women to act as leaders — but that hasn’t stopped Shurouq.

“I try to get up in the morning and make decisions and be a strong woman, and in the same breath, a woman who loves to live in the best way possible,” she says.

Shurouq appreciates the emphasis on equality at SodaStream, and says the mentorship and leadership coaching she’s received from within the company have helped her overcome self-doubt and reach new goals, both at work and beyond. She’s currently working towards a BA and teaching certificate at Oranim College and hopes to eventually pursue a master’s degree. “I have come to a place where I can say ‘yes’ and make decisions on my own,” Shurouq explains. “No one can silence me.”