Six Months Pregnant Marissa Mayer Appointed CEO Of Yahoo

Google's first female engineer and 20th employee (she began working for the search engine when it was in its start up phase in 1999) is now parting ways with the company that has made her a billionaire to become the first female chief executive of Yahoo.

But what's even more, Marissa Mayer is also currently six months pregnant with her first child, bringing us back to the topic that's been on our minds: can women have it all?

Mayer has already  been telling the media she expects her maternity leave to be “a few weeks long and I’ll work throughout it,” and although Yahoo hasn't revealed Mayer’s compensation, it’s fairly obvious to say that the 37-year-old will be earning enough to have nannies, housekeepers, and whatever else she may need (let's just say she lives in a $5 million penthouse).

So, can the woman responsible for the clean look of Google.com, studies in artificial intelligence, and dines at charity auction lunches with Oscar de la Renta for $60,000 have it all?

Today, the Wall Street Journal's blog commented on Mayer's new position in her career and personal life. The author talks about all of the possible hiccups that might occur while balancing having your first child and spearheading a huge company. Like, for example, what if Yahoo's top competitor launched an aggressive attack right after the baby was born? What if she is subject to post-partem depression? After a series of “what if's” she went on to say, “Because as a woman and a professional, Mayer just ratcheted up the stakes—not just for Yahoo, its customers and its investors, but for working moms everywhere, not to mention our children. I feel like I imagine so many African-Americans felt when Barack Obama was elected: Hopeful, and a little apprehensive. Mayer is embarking on something incredibly difficult, that no other American businesswoman has ever done. For her sake and for mine, may she have the wind at her back.”

On another note, Malaysian Olympic air rifle shooter, Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi, will be eight months pregnant when she competes at the London games this summer. She will hold the record as the most heavily pregnant woman to compete in history. The 29-year-old told the New York Times of her pregnancy, “For me nothing is impossible,” she said. “It’s one of the challenges. If I abandoned it, maybe who knows? Another four years to wait, maybe I don’t have the opportunity.”

What can bloggers take away from this? Well, a couple of things. For one, it seems that some women are just trying to figure it out, and refuse to say no to an opportunity in their career because of their desire to have a family. Who knows? Maybe both women will realize it's all too much, or maybe they will find a balance — but the point is, these women should serve as inspiration. They show it's not impossible to do both. Sure, it may be difficult, and there may not be much sleep involved, but some women are willing to take that risk.

Does this change your opinion on whether women can have it all? What do you think?

[Image credit: Photographed by Norman Jean Roy, Vogue, August 2009]

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8 Responses

  1. Nancie

    It is very possible to have it all…there are other lesser known women who do it everyday. This is inspiring.xx

    Reply
  2. Katarina

    Great article! 🙂
    Recently I read another great article like this, and it hit close to home for me: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/07/why-women-still-can-t-have-it-all/9020/?single_page=true

    I am 27 and working as a category owner for huge multinational consumer goods company, covering 9 countries in my field, company transferred me to another country and I am trying to balance my long distance relationship, my career, blog, language classes I attend together with a personal life in a way that I work 3 weeks in a month from one country and one from where my boyfriend lives + traveling a lot for business.

    So I can’t imagine having baby on top, I have a dog and taking care of him is a huge challenge for me. I think its possible to have it all, but it takes a lot of sacrifice, something’s got to give, unfortunately many times it ends up being the most intangible thing – our health.

    Reply
  3. Liz

    This definitely seems to be a real topic of the moment – or it could just be that it’s on my mind so I’m more alert to it. It’s always really interesting to read profiles and interviews with women who seem to be finding ways to combine the different threads of their life, but the link that Katarina posted above is so much more: it’s a real eye-opener to read such a successful woman discussing her experiences and ideas for future change so freely. Thanks Katarina!

    I got married straight after finishing my law degree but it was a choice motivated by love and faith rather than any desire to ‘settle down’. I’m in my mid-20s now and about to start a high intensity role in London. It’s amazing to have these opportunities but I’m also so aware of being indebted to the support of my Mum (and Dad), even now. I really want to emulate that if and when I eventually have children, but I still feel the pull of the City and doing intellectually challenging work.

    I think all choices along these lines involve an inevitable element of sacrifice, as Katarina mentioned too. For now I think the best we/I can do is to try and actively make sacrifices we can live with – rather than finding that things got sacrificed along the way because there was no pause for reflection. A lot of the core issues here will only really be resolved by a change in working culture though – and that needs a political and legal rethink. That seems a little way off, but it’s something I think we can and should push for in our spheres of influence.

    Reply
  4. MissMikelah

    I find it interesting, better yet, annoying that Men are never questioned about ability to juggle family/work. “having it all” is a personal perspective of having it all means for you. She’s been a prominent woman at Google and is now making a career move to Yahoo. I think she’ll be fine.

    Reply
  5. Kholá

    Someone mentioned on Twitter that they weren’t sure why this was news. The day that it isn’t is the day we as women will have overcome gender equality issues.

    Reply
  6. Amber

    Seriously, this is getting old. When Obama became president of this country did the US say “Can men have it all? With two children, will he be able to balance both children and country?” When Donald Trump takes a big move with his business, do we ask ” How will this man balance both his personal life at home and his franchise?” Do people make a press conference about his personal life and how he’ll have to manage? Can Donald have it all? Do we ever ask that of the men? Why is it the woman who is constantly faced with this “choice”? Just because we come with birthing canals doesn’t mean we have to choose the home or the office. Neither does it mean someone has to pipe up with the question “Can she have it all?!”

    I get the jist of this article, but I find it tired and old. Women can manage companies, and function just fine as CEO’s and COO’s and chairs. We don’t need to worry about how they are going to manage their personal lives. What matters is how they are going to do their job, and in this case how Mayer is going to get Yahoo out of the crapper that it has been in since…well, forever.

    Reply