Yahoo Appoints A Pregnant CEO And I Am Ferklempt...
Let me just say this- kudos to you Yahoo for appointing the right person for the position. For taking a chance and likely knowing they'd face some harsh criticism over their decision to name the very pregnant Marissa Mayer as the new CEO of Yahoo, especially those naysayers who believe Ms. Mayer's eventual delivery of her kid- will preclude her from being able to manage the day to day operations of this company which is currently in desperate need of some strategic direction. But on the flip side, Ms. Mayer who made her bones at Google, is more than primed and ready to tackle this job, and in my opinion, to take this company to many new heights.
What should her first order of business be? Perhaps to set a new precedent for women in the workplace. Perhaps through her experiences she can once and for all prove that women are not simply a mess of hormones and emotions and once they deliver a baby their mind aren't transformed into mush and thoughts of breastfeeding. Perhaps she can set an example and provide a framework for other working mothers on finding that elusive balance, and having one's company be there to support, as opposed to hinder that balance. Can you imagine a workforce where women who had babies did not feel like a black cloud was about to swallow them whole and they were suddenly under the gun to choose between the two? Can you even fathom that a woman could inevitably handle the stresses and demands of both and make it work?
This is the kind of world I want my daughter to have the privilege to live in. I want her to see that yes, you can pump your breast milk, which your spouse can feed to your baby, while you catch a plane for a work meeting. Yes you can still very much bond with your baby, even if you don't have the luxury or choice to choose full time stay-at home mom status. Yes, as a woman, if you work really hard and keep your eye on the prize you can break that glass ceiling with your four inch stiletto. Yes you can still be feminine and not have to underplay your femininity to go head-to-head with your male counterparts (Mayer was just named the hottest CEO) and yes you can still be perceived as a serious and very much qualified player.
Clearly the dream is to be able to balance it all, to have endless hours with our kids, to watch their every, single solitary moment, to catch all those firsts, while both rising to the top of the heap in one's professional life. And yes, if the roles were reversed and this were a man whose wife was going to have a baby, this would be a non issue. But I have to feel a small victory (as I'm sure many other women do) that a company as large as Yahoo would unflinchingly make a decision like this to choose the right person for the job- and that gender was not a determining factor. Do I hope one day we can grow as a society to the point where this is no longer news? Yes. Do I hope one day all jobs would allow for a much more robust and extended flex maternity schedule? Yes. But gosh darn it- it's pioneers like Marissa Mayer who are paving the way for all these things to be possible, and right now I am busting with pride for my fellow woman in charge, and hoping the naysayers will just shut their pie holes.