long advocated for diversity amongst corporate leadership. The recent naming of Marissa Mayer as CEO of Yahoo has sparked significant attention and debate. Mayer's gender (female), relative youth (37 years old), current pregnancy (six months pregnant), and announced pay package (estimated at somewhere between $71 and $100 million over five years) have each separately garnered praise and criticism. Still, after many years leading and innovating at Google, Mayer seems poised to bring exciting leadership and stability to struggling Yahoo.
Mayer's appointment as CEO of Yahoo makes her the 19th female CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and the first ever pregnant CEO of a Fortune 500. Mayer will have the unique opportunity to start a family and lead a Fortune 500 company at the same time. Although, one should ask why this is particularly newsworthy. Certainly there have been hundreds of male CEOs of Fortune 500 companies that have become fathers, some for the first time, while simultaneously leading a Fortune 500. That this is news personifies the double standard that attaches to females when they become important leaders in corporate America.
From ThinkProgress: "Board members at Yahoo were aware that Mayer was expecting during the hiring process, and treated her pregnancy with a respect and deference very few women get to enjoy in the workplace. According to Mashable, an anonymous source said, 'It was not part of the consideration. …Like every other professional woman, she has to weigh all the factors in doing her job and having a family': Mayer also expressed that she was pleased the Yahoo board was not concerned, telling Fortune their actions 'showed their evolved thinking.' And as far as maternity leave goes, don’t expect Mayer to be out of the office for long. The new CEO plans to return to the office after a few short weeks and will be working throughout her time off. Yahoo’s scheduled September board meeting will be in Sunnyvale, Calif., rather than New York, to accommodate for the expecting mother-to-be."
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