1. She resigned from her VP position at Google and accepted a job offer as the new CEO at Yahoo.
2. She did this while being 7 months pregnant. Cue shock and awe.
Not only are people in a hizzy because Mayer, who is only 37, is taking over the reigns at a Fortune 500 company – which is a rarity, they are also up in arms that she has decided to make this career move while pregnant. Everyone’s minds are racing – no one is quite sure how to react. Can a woman be pregnant, give birth, take maternity leave AND save a struggling tech giant? I believe the answer is yes!
Many women are good at multi-tasking. Does that mean that most women would accept this position while seven months pregnant? No, it definitely does not. But Mayer is up for the challenge.
Since Mayer made the announcement that she is pregnant, there have been mixed feelings. Julia Hartz, 32, president of Eventbrite Inc., said, “You don’t grow a human and turn around a company at the same time very easily.” On the other hand, Mayer has supporters out there.
One supporter is Amanda Steinberg, founder and CEO of DailyWorth, an online community that helps women earn more, save more and spend smarter. Steinberg wrote an open letter to Mayer titled, “A Letter To Marissa Mayer On Being A CEO And 7 Months Pregnant, From An Expert.” The letter states:
At 37, you’ve opted to become CEO of struggling tech giant Yahoo. And you’re seven months pregnant.
With a Master’s degree in computer science from Stanford, you don’t need anyone’s advice on efficiency planning or system engineering. But you’re going to get a lot of input on nannies, sleep training, and—the buzzword/cliche du jour—”having it all.”
I’ve had it all and then some. I launched DailyWorth the same week I gave birth to my second child, and since then have raised $3 million in venture capital, built a team and an audience of 300,000-plus women—all with two preschoolers in tow.
While I can’t compare my load to yours, I’d like to share my insights into the roller coaster that powermom-hood can be.
On maternity leave. The media is all aflutter that you’re taking two weeks of maternity leave. Hello, not every woman on earth, especially the CEOs of public companies, needs a traditional maternity leave. There are 168 hours in a week, and it’s possible to make time for snuggling and conference calls.
On being judged. One of the hardest parts will be holding a smile when the world is viewing you as a test case: “Prove to us that a CEO can be a mom AND turn around a mammoth company!” The media seems to have this “corporate moms neglect their kids” story going, and (sadly) you’ll have a lot of people gunning for you. Please ignore.
On being there—and not. Your sleep deprivation in the first year will be enormous. He will get sick and your heart will ache. He’ll take first steps and eat his first peas, and you might not be there to see it. And it’s going to HURT.
Yet sometimes, when people ask, “Isn’t it awful that you weren’t there to see him eat his first peas?”, you might feel indifferent. Actually, I was pounding through a $700M deal, and I’m not really all that torn up about missing his peas. But you won’t want to LOOK like the mom that doesn’t care, so you’ll smile and feign remorse and it will be weird.
One thing is for sure, as mothers adapt to C-Suite positions, corporations have to adjust as well. We are cheering for you as you lay down new track. It’s kind of a big deal.
Now this is one powerful letter. These are the honest words Mayer needs to hear – not the doubts and criticisms from the peanut gallery. What are your thoughts? Do you support Mayer’s decision to become CEO of Yahoo while seven months pregnant?