PepsiCo CEO: Don’t call people ‘sweetie’ or ‘honey’ at work

It’s time to end using terms of endearment at the workplace, according to PepsiCo’s Indra Noovi.

Ragan Insider Content

Despite the decline of formalities such as “sir” and “ma’am” in favor of first-name-basis relationships, there’s one type of antiquated designation that persists—even at the top of the most prominent companies.

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi condemned the use of terms of endearment in the workplace at the seventh annual Women in the World Summit.

“We’ve got to be treated as executives or people rather than honey, or sweetie, or babe,” Nooyi says. “That has to change.”

By adding “people,” Nooyi implied that it’s a two-way street: infantilizing or sexist terms of endearment have no place in a professional environment, regardless of whether they’re directed toward a boss or an intern. It’s a matter of dignity.

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