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Friday

Reading on the Run: Marisa Mayer's Maternity Leave

Successful working women keep track of important matters in the news. However, we are not one-dimensional. Some of us also want to keep up with celebrity gossip and fashion news too. Even in the era of the Internet and 24 hour news shows and E!, it can be challenging to keep up with everything.

Fortunately for you, I make it my job to keep up on articles of interest and resources to working moms and when I find notable ones, I share them with you. Below are a few about Yahoo's CEO Marisa Mayer that sparked my interest.

If you haven't heard the news, Marisa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo is pregnant again with twins no less, and has announced that she plans to be on maternity leave for about two weeks.  Both announcements have the internet all a flutter, especially since this is Mayer's second pregnancy in the past two years and she returned to work in about two weeks after her first delivery too. I understand that there is intense pressure on Marisa as the CEO of a major corporation, especially since she is a young CEO and a woman. Some might say she has something to prove.  What she seems intent on proving is that she is different from other women who have babies. Her decision is compromising the move for mandatory maternity leave benefits. 

It Was Bold of Mayer to Get Pregnant Again

I applaud her for having the courage to get pregnant again because her job should not dictate her family decisions. Still, it was a bold choice. People may have forgiven Mayer’s first pregnancy. But to do it again, two years later made a statement. Some are thinking who does that?! Doesn’t being CEO mean that you put decided to put your femininity on the back burner? Forgoing multiple children is part of the gig, right?   For the record, this getting pregnant isn’t Mayer’s only bold choice. She’s also a fashionista who posed for Vogue. Folks should know that she ain’t your average CEO, which is kind of a good thing if you look at how Yahoo has been performing under her leadership.

Mayer's Short Maternity Leave Is Not a Sign of Progress


First, I feel slightly bad for Mayer that her reproductive practices are a matter for public consumption. That said, once she became a CEO of a major corporation she became a celebrity and a role model for many women.

One could say that Mayer’s decision to return to work so soon is a sign of progress and an example of how to “have it all”. I am not one of those people. Every pregnancy, delivery and doctor is different. That said, giving birth is a major physical event, no matter how you do it. I had an uncomplicated, unmedicated delivery—both times. Still, I was instructed not to climb the steps for two weeks after I gave birth. Two weeks after I gave birth, I was no wearing regular clothes, was exhausted and still had stitches.

Not that I disputed it, but my doctor also did not allow me to return to work for six weeks—for medical reasons. (I was fortunate that that amount of leave was also covered by our short term disability policy.) And I wasn’t able to return until after I had an examination. Although I know that some women have to return to work sooner, I cannot imagine volunteering for that.


Mayer’s decision to return so soon when she is going to have three small children, and may require a C-section, is notable. It might even be brave. However, it does not indicate progress. What it might indicate instead is recognition on her part that she would be judged harshly for taking a longer leave. Because although a male CEO might take the recommended leave for a removal of a gall stone without judgment, a female CEO cannot simply take the recommended amount of leave for giving birth. That doesn't feel like progress, it feels like pressure...  

Articles About Marisa Mayer's Second Pregnancy

 
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer may have doubled the company's paid maternity leave in 2013, but that doesn't mean she'll take much time off when she ...

The Inquisitr
According to Business Insider, who calls Mayer a “symbol for American workingmothers,” Mayer is a “self-proclaimed workaholic …who famously ...

Ruben Sprich/ReutersYahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's recent decision to take "limited parental leave" after the birth of her twins has reignited a ...








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