Social Impact

Because She Dared: Leaning into power & speaking fearlessly

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April Carr’s 25-year career with PepsiCo is built on speaking fearlessly, pushing boundaries, and paving the way for other women to succeed.

April Carr, Transformation Senior Director, has been blazing new pathways from the time she was a young girl. Before she was in the fifth grade (yes, fifth grade!), she’d written her first book and sung on a music education album for Atlanta Public Schools. “I always liked tapping into all parts of me,” April says.

She’s continued to blaze new pathways at PepsiCo, from being the first Women of Color ERG National Chair to recently delivering the first artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled sales app for PepsiCo Foods North America.

We sat down with April to learn about her daring career, how she pushes boundaries, and why she encourages others to go outside their comfort zone.

Can you tell us about your career journey as well as the work you’re doing now?

After graduating from Alabama A&M University, I joined PepsiCo’s management trainee program, a unique opportunity that allowed me to quickly learn all aspects of the business. This experience not only launched my career but also enabled me to make a lasting impact.

Since then, I’ve held diverse roles across the company and have achieved several firsts. For example, I was the first Customization Manager, a new role at the time, tasked with integrating both foods and beverages into a unified warehouse and display operation at our new Atlanta Customer Business Center. Additionally, I was one of the first Propel finished goods planners to help the brand surpass $100 million in sales in the enhanced water category.

Now I have the privilege of leading a team that creates the strategy for and delivers new applications to our field Sales organization for PepsiCo Foods North America.

One of our biggest recent accomplishments is the development of the first AI-enabled sales app, which we launched nationally in September 2023. The app provides our field US and Canada Sales leaders with personalized, data-driven customer solutions. It’s a unique platform that we continue to enhance to stay at the cutting edge of our industry.

I am grateful for my team who delivers with excellence, intention, drive, passion, and purpose every day. I strategically sought out the best and brightest talent from a diverse array of backgrounds, ethnicities, and experiences to enrich our culture and our technology with voices and perspectives that represent the people that we serve – our associates, our customers, and our consumers.

There is no way to be innovative without being fearless.

How has voicing your opinion fearlessly helped you find success?

Voicing your opinion fearlessly is extremely important for women in business. Putting this into practice has empowered me to direct my own career path.

When I first started at the company, “speaking fearlessly” was about finding my voice. Once I did, it became more about understanding what my strengths and growth opportunities were so that I could share that voice in the most meaningful ways, which meant putting myself in new experiences and raising my hand for leadership opportunities. It meant not being afraid to be the first in certain roles. I’ve been a part of two startups within the organization and was able to lead turnaround operations as well. Those roles really are about pushing boundaries.

Being encouraged to tap into my authentic self while impacting the business on such a high level is what’s kept me here for 25 years.

How do you extend your perceived boundaries and put yourself in a position to be able to step outside of your comfort zone?

Speaking fearlessly can be challenging. How do you navigate these as a woman in leadership?

One day at a time.

You navigate the challenging times by reflecting on what you were able to overcome in the past. It’s about being in that moment while being reflective on what worked, and then you can determine how to double down to excel in the current situation.

Of course, you also need a layer of support within the organization. That’s why I’m honored to be the National Chair for our Women of Color (WoC) Employee Resource Group. WoC has been a steady community for me to both receive and provide support for women here.

Throughout my career, I’ve had advocates and sponsors — both men and women — who’ve leaned into my career. I’m grateful for all of them. I want to be able to pass that on and encourage other women to share their perspective. It could be the next big idea for the organization.

It is a continuous journey. You never arrive. It is truly about getting better each and every day and bringing others with you.

What advice do you have for women who want to step into their power and own their career?

Do not shrink!

As a leader and as a woman, it is vital that we own our narrative. No one can tell your story better than you, so dare to voice it fearlessly. Gracefully own and tell people about your accomplishments and how you are positively impacting our business and our people to make a difference. This is what’s needed to get you where you dare or dream to go.

Because She Dared

This content series celebrates PepsiCo’s support of women and shares what’s possible when women dare to lead and dare to make a lasting impact on their careers, their colleagues, and the world around them. Explore PepsiCo opportunities around the world to find your chance to make a lasting impact.