Gordana Radic decided she was going to take a leap. She saw an opportunity to step into a new role as a security officer, a role she always admired for offering protection and calm. While it was outside her comfort zone — and a role that had previously
only been staffed by men — that motivated her even more.
She knew that in the male-dominated field a woman would have to show that she could prove just as effective as her male counterparts. “I wanted to break the bias that women cannot work in security,” says Gordana. “I wanted to show that
there is no difference when it comes to doing the job. Effort and hard work are what pays off and what is noticed.”
That was ten years ago, when she became the first woman in a security position at the PepsiCo Maglić plant in Serbia. As Environment, Health and Safety Administrator, Gordana now oversees safety programs and security training for associates. And despite
starting off as the lone woman, she didn’t feel alone. “I feel very supported by my male colleagues,” says Gordana. “Everyone works really well together and supports one another.”
With that support, Gordana has helped pave the way for four other women to join her team. "I was the first one to break the ice and show that women can work in this field — we can make a difference,” she explains. “I encouraged other
women by sharing my opinions and feelings with them during breaks.” She adds that being a role model for women motivates and inspires her. “They’re always able to ask me questions — I’m very approachable,” says
I was the first one to break the ice and show that women can work in this field — we can make a difference.
Gordana has helped create an even more diverse and inclusive workplace at PepsiCo. Women make up 50 percent of the Supply Chain frontline roles at the Maglić plant. And the company is working to increase gender parity around the globe. Across PepsiCo,
43 percent of women are in managerial roles, with the goal of reaching 50 percent by 2025. The company is also supporting women in their careers by providing more flexibility through benefits and policies, offering development and retention trainings,
building resilient women-owned businesses, expanding mentorship and workforce readiness programs and more. “At PepsiCo you can raise questions and get the support you need,” says Gordana. “Your voice is heard here.”
In 2020, Gordana’s dedication was recognized when she was selected as a Chairman’s Circle of Champions award recipient — PepsiCo’s highest honor for frontline associates in Operations and Supply Chain. “My heart still beats
fast when I think about it,” says Gordana. “I feel so proud to have received this honor. Especially because I was unanimously selected by management.”
When asked what advice Gordana would give to other women she says: “Take action to overcome your fears, be ambitious and trust yourself.” It’s advice that she has taken herself. “I’ve proved, and my other colleagues have
proved that we can work shoulder to shoulder with men and there is no difference,” says Gordana. “We shouldn’t put boundaries on ourselves. We should believe in ourselves.”