Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer may be one of the most powerful women in America, but in the eyes of many feminists, she’s a traitor to her gender. Forget the sisterhood; Mayer has been mercilessly attacked by women (but not men) since she took the top job last year.
The message from the femi-nasties is clear: it’s not enough that Mayer is one of only 20 female Fortune 500 CEOs, it’s her unwillingness to be a women’s rights warrior that really matters. It probably also doesn’t help that Mayer is young, beautiful and blonde.
But it’s no wonder few women want to take on top corporate roles, given that they are often judged according to a much harsher standard than is ever used for men.
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It’s not fair that Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer is expected to become the poster girl for working mothers the world over. Even if it was a gig she wanted, where would she find the time?
In between the exhaustive hours that running a Fortune 500 company demands, raising her five-month-old son and squeezing in the occasional dinner with her husband, there’s not much free time in the 37-year-old’s schedule.
And even if there was, it’s probably a stray hour or two she would prefer to spend getting reacquainted with sleep rather than stage a protest rally to lobby for better conditions in the workplace.
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It’s pretty clear that Marissa Mayer is not your typical 37-year-old woman. For a start, “home” is the penthouse apartment at the Four Seasons hotel in San Francisco. (Wow. Do you think they replenish the mini bar every night?)
She wears Oscar de la Renta, employs a regular party planner and hangs glass artwork by Dale Chihuly on her walls. And she’s married to lawyer cum philanthropist and part time marathon runner, Zack Bogue. Who, according to Vogue looks like Clark Kent.
To top it all off, Mayer’s just been made CEO of Yahoo, a position she was offered despite the fact she is six months pregnant with her first child. Add all those things together and it would be easy to hate Ms Mayer. But hate her we won’t – for a very simple reason.
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For weeks now the internet has been groaning under the weight of think pieces about working mothers and whether we can “have it all.” Ever since this article by Anne-Marie Slaughter in The Atlantic warning younger women of the perils of combining top-flight careers and parenting hit our inboxes, women have been examining if we even asked for “it all” and if we did, if we were mad.
Then this afternoon news broke that made the whole debate seem very June 2012. A 37-year-old woman called Marissa Mayer has just been named the new CEO of Yahoo. This in itself was noteworthy but not amazing. What is a bit amazing, though, is that as Yahoo announced her appointment, Mayer announced she was pregnant - due to give birth to a boy on October 7.
She’s six months in and Yahoo clearly didn’t care. In making this appointment the company has made a very public statement on its priorities. It wanted the right person for the job, her personal situation is up to her.
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The CEO of Yahoo!, Scott Thompson, pretended he had a degree he hadn’t earned.
So who gets fired? The chair of the committee who hired him. He’s still in the top job. Yahoo kidding?
It’s Thursday. What’s on your mind?
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