On my off days, I also write critical pieces on my blog dedicated to the “Politics of Raising Children”. I have a piece out about a recent Bellyitch Bumpwatch mom, Yahoo!’s CEO Marissa Mayer. Check out an excerpt here:
Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer opened up a parent war last week when the new first time mom threw out the company’s remote work policy and ordered all employs to work only from the office, beginning in June.
“To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side,” an internal memo acquired by All Things D read. “That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices.
The former veteran of Google got even more blowback when reports leaked that Mayer had a private nursery built inside her office so she could bring her son to work with her, an accommodation and privilege that the other parents at Yahoo! did not have. Immediately, cries of hypocrisy were heard from the blogsphere and women and parents’ rights groups.
But oh the fair weather friends.
Only months before, Mayer was openly lauded for getting hired to turn a struggling company around while she was already 6-months pregnant.
From that point on, Mayer watch was on! Her pregnancy and successes were solidified on the radar of millions, all rooting her on and watching her every move.
Technology companies, with a disproportionate number of top executives under 40 and the increasing presence of women, are finding ways to accommodate childbirth and young kids, a 2012 Bloomberg article on the announcement stated.
In 2011, the labor force included almost 61% of women with kids under 3 and 56% of women with children under 1, according to Catalyst, an organization that tracks women’s advancement in the workplace, which cited statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
On top of that, Mayer already faced the eyeballs of expectations, being the fifth CEO the flailing company hired in five years. Talk about pressure.
But no soon after delivering, pro-baby critics berated her for returning to work merely two weeks after delivering her child in September 30. They argued she set unrealistic expectations for other new moms out there who should be spending their time bonding after delivery. Never mind the fact that the United States is one of few industrialized nations to not offer paid maternity leave and worse than 16 other high-income nations. The Family Medical Leave Act only requires an employer to hold a woman’s job for twelve weeks after delivery, but does not require that she be paid for that time off. Currently, only 60 percent of women have access to paid leave. Some may even have elected to take a job at Yahoo! because of its once flexible work-at-home policies.
But Mayer is unlike other CEOs. She is a minority. She is one of 42 female CEOs, 4.2%, of fortune 500 and 1000 companies. So Mayer is held to a different standard and cannot lavish in the luxury of expecting something like time with her newborn son. [note sarcasm]