Will Marissa Mayer Truly “Have It All”?
After reading Ann Marie Slaughter’s article, Why Women Still Can’t Have It All I couldn’t believe how closely it coincided with Marissa Mayer not only being named Yahoo’s new CEO, but with her pregnancy news as well.
Slaughter’s article basically outlines the serious challenges of being a high profile woman in power while balancing a family. For me, Slaughter’s commentary was a harsh reminder that once a woman has children that maternal need doesn’t disappear as your children grow older. In fact, it can even become stronger. Quite honestly, as a young professional, having babies is not on my immediate radar, but I always figured maternity leave was enough. Apparently not.
There is clearly a lot of controversy regarding Mayer’s newfound title at Yahoo. The public is uneasy if she will be able to perform a stellar job of turning Yahoo around or if she’ll end up an utter failure. But wait a second, now she’s pregnant too?
From what I’ve read on Mayer so far, regardless of whether she’s being donned “Google’s ‘Golden Girl’” or just a serious workaholic with a potential attitude problem/tyrannical management style, I wonder how the pressure of being a new mom will affect her work. Not only does she have the pressure of the media and the public on her shoulders, soon she will have a baby who needs her too!
According to this article concerning Mayer’s pregnancy, she plans to take a few weeks long maternity leave AND work throughout it. A few weeks? “A few” equals three in my book, and WORK the whole time? Am I the only one being skeptical here? It’s also her first child. As much as I would like for Mayer to be a successful woman in a top job while also balancing a family and baby who depends on her, there are several factors making me shake my head in disbelief. Seriously, more power to her — this will be no easy task, one that many can’t possibly even imagine.
Of course as a working woman, I am thrilled that the corporate world is embracing an intelligent, powerful woman to take over an important job while her pregnancy is a non-issue. It’s a true step forward. But after reading Slaughter’s article, I’m not sure Mayer will in fact be able to “have it all,” and it’s possible we will see her step down as CEO in order to spend time with her new family.
On the other hand, I’m sure if it were the opposite situation, and Mayer was disqualified from the job based on possible commitment issues regarding her new pregnancy, there would be absolute chaos. I’m very interested in how things will turn out and I think everyone is paying close attention at this point.