Is the new Yahoo CEO the new poster-woman for working moms?


Marissa Mayer, new CEO of Yahoo. Photo Credit: Fortune Mag & CNN Money

The big move starts tomorrow – so I REALLY don’t have time for the kind of post that is running through my head and crowding my thoughts – but I had to throw something up. Last night, I heard the news that Marissa Mayer was named newly appointed CEO of Yahoo. I thought it was cool and just didn’t focus. Tomorrow’s move on the brain, I guess.


This morning I heard a news blurb that she is 37. Wow – that shocked me. She could join our Forever 39 wine and yoga pants club.

Then the news followed up with this – she is pregnant with her first child and due in October.

If that didn’t stop every one of us dead in our tracks, I don’t know what will.

Forget the Anne-Marie Slaughter piece, forget everything else – here we have actual action. We have a youngish business WOMAN appointed CEO of a large company….and she is pregnant – not just newly pregnant but very pregnant – and taking her maternity leave.

All eyes are on her amongst the working mom set, whether she likes it or not. Did she suddenly just become the new poster-woman for breaking new ground, actually breaking some barriers and setting an example that pregnant women should still be interviewing for all kinds of jobs – even competitive intense jobs – and that pregnancy should not be considered as a barrier to strong candidates?

And will it be the edgier, newer businesses that will walk-the-walk about work-life balance and adapt to helping families manage careers and family – in a way that the older, more established businesses just can’t seem to be able to do?

I hope business people, HR departments, hiring managers everywhere are taking notice. This decision on the part of Yahoo isn’t just another philosophical piece published by a privileged woman – this is a stop-you-dead  in your tracks decision that sends a loud message.

Last year, I interviewed a friend who is also an attorney with the EEOC. She sees work discrimination cases every single day. She has a very realistic perspective and she provided some excellent advice to women who are pregnant and interviewing or considering a job search. Since posting that interview, I consistently see traffic to my blog where someone entered the search terms “should I interview while pregnant?”

Ladies  – I don’t think anything just changed over night but hopefully this empowers you. What do you think? Is the hiring of Marissa Mayer significant for working women everywhere? I will resume the WM Working Moms Hero series, probably next week. Until then, for more on working moms, “Like” the WM Facebook page.


One Response to Is the new Yahoo CEO the new poster-woman for working moms?
  1. Kristen Reichert
    July 18, 2012 | 6:57 pm

    Kudos to Yahoo! for hiring a pregnant woman and not discriminating during the interview process! My hat is off to all moms, working or at home. We’ve got a tough job. I linked to this post in my blog about this story. I hope you don’t mind:

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