Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer a mom we love to hate (?)

Toronto Star Story

A woman leading a huge tech company was big news. So was her salary: $117 million U.S. over five years, according to the New York Times . Expectations were high. Mayer was also six months pregnant.

How was it going to work, people wondered. How would she balance mothering a newborn and running a Fortune 500 company?

Mayer quickly went from role model to earning the wrath of women the world over when she skipped her maternity leave, taking only two weeks off after giving birth to a son in September.Here’s what Mayer has done: she’s built a nursery, at her expense, next to her office so she can be near her baby as she works long hours.

You can hear the howls of hypocrisy. That’s what $117 million can buy you.

To play the devil’s advocate, if you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company — and new to the job — you have to put in the hours to justify the paycheque. There are only 21 women CEOs at Fortune 500 companies. That’s only about 4 per cent. It’s hard enough for women to get the job in the first place, let alone mothers.

Let’s turn this around. What if a male CEO had just become a father and built a nursery next to his office. The guy would be hailed as Dad of the Year, no?

It’s tough for working mothers. Something’s gotta give. Work the hours and have someone else look after your kids, or sacrifice your career and spend more time raising your family. One thing is as certain as poopy diapers and spit-up on your work clothes: there will always be someone there to criticize your decision.

Mayer sets an impossible standard for working women, but she’s in exceptional circumstances. Let’s cut her some slack. Mayer is being a paid to run a huge company, not set child-care policy. That’s what politicians are for.


To read the story: Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer a mom we love to hate | Toronto Star.


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