Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s joined the ranks of celebrity mothers this week and with her baby arrives a new episode in the never-endingdrama on whether women can have it all. To critics, even advocates for working mothers, the brouhaha over her decision to keep on working right after the birth of her son and return to the office in a week’s time, comes across as either unnatural or damaging to other women in business. It challenges our expectations of women and their evolving role in the business world and that makes people uncomfortable. I say bring it on.
In five to 10 years, I want to look back and cite this week as the turning point in the discussion of women and careers, when pregnancy no longer constituted a liability. This vision of the future comes in light of the news that Yahoo’s board of directors appointed Marissa Mayer — a 37-year old Google veteran who happens to be six-months pregnant — the company’s new CEO.
There’s good reason to follow the women who successfully made it to the top echelons of companies – they act as necessary role models for the rest of us. But dwelling on numbers suggests there are dark forces at work keeping women down, whereas the explanation may lie with women themselves. After years of navigating the corporate world, some women come to realize that their values are not in sync with striving for the C-suite. They ask themselves, “Do I really want to be CEO?” Often, the answer is no.
Highlights from today’s news include Bachmann’s response to being called a “flake” and the future of a New Zealand CEO who thinks women are less productive, and should be compensated less, because of their monthlies.