New Pregnant Yahoo CEO will Work Through Maternity Leave
Last Monday, Yahoo announced that Marissa Mayer, ex-Google executive was going to be the company’s new CEO. While that was newsworthy enough, tongues started wagging when it was also announced (hours later) that she was pregnant and due in October.
When Mayer told board members that she was expecting, they supposedly didn’t given it a second thought.
“They showed their evolved thinking,” Mayer recalled.
Perhaps their decision was also due to the fact that this working mom will not skip a beat. “My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I’ll work throughout it,” Mayer explained.
With a decision that brought about a mixed response of applause and cringing, Mayer brings to light an important question that haunts working moms today: Can a woman have it all?
While some supporters are applauding this decision, there are some critics who are wary of how Mayer’s unrealistic balancing act will affect the company’s future.
“Turning Yahoo around is likely going to be a near impossible task; the stress, at least initially, is likely to be similar to that stress of starting Google, and you add to that the stress of having a child and the result could be catastrophic for one or the other,” explained technology analyst Rob Enderle. “On the other hand, this pregnancy might become a forcing function. Often inexperienced turnaround CEOs learn too late the necessity of building a very strong balanced team; in order to take the pressure off of her during her pregnancy building such a team will have higher priority and, in the end, it will be the team that will do this not the CEO alone.”
On the other hand, with the presence of pregnancy discrimination around the workplace, one can’t help but be a bit awestruck by news of Marissa’s appointment.
“Appointing a woman as CEO is pretty rare in and of itself, and having a pregnant one is even more rare,” said Eden King, author of “How Women Can Make It Work” “Many women who reach that level do not have children at all, much less are pregnant at the time.”
“It’s a sample size of one,” she also added. “And it’s hard to know if this represents social change. I certainly have hope, but most of the evidence shows that there’s substantial discrimination of pregnant women who are working,”
And while workplace discrimination against pregnant women is becoming an addressable issue, the question still remains on how gender and societal roles are affected as women rise up in the workplace.
“Women who are having it all are superhuman, rich, and in charge. I’m all for Marissa Mayer! but the norm?” a Princeton University professor tweeted.
So again, the question remains: Can women really have it all?
As a sidenote, Mayer broke the debate by tweeting a happy piece of news, “Another piece of good news today – @zackbogue and I are expecting a new baby boy!”
Good luck to Mayer and Yahoo!