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Marissa Mayer Yahoo Appointment Reignites Motherhood Debate

The 37-year-old becomes only the 20th female CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
By: Sarah Bauder
Published: July 18th, 2012 in Business » World
Marissa Mayer
When embattled search engine, Yahoo named 37-year-old Marissa Mayer as its CEO, folks started chattering. Said chatter became deafening, when it was revealed that Mayer was also 6 months pregnant, reigniting the perennial debate of whether women can effectively juggle it all – motherhood and career. Behold the brave new age in which we reside.

Mayer evidently informed the Yahoo board of her pregnancy in June, during the hiring process. According to Mayer, her gravid state was a non-issue for the Yahoo directors.

"They showed their evolved thinking,” she told Fortune.

Perhaps the “powers that be” at Yahoo were more interested in Mayer for the 13 years she had spent at Internet behemoth, Google. She was, after all, the company’s 20th employee and first female engineer, most recently serving as vice president of location services, overseeing such things as Google Maps, Street View and Google Earth.

According to Catalyst, the organization that tracks woman in the workplace, Mayer is only the 20th female CEO of a Fortune 500 company. If the roles were reversed, and Mayer was a 37-year-old male whose wife was pregnant, it would probably be safe to wager that the prevailing discourse would not be the pending fatherhood, but whether said individual could dig a beleaguered company such as Yahoo out of ground.

Although a rough road ahead, Mayer (who apparently is accustomed to a 90-hour-workweek) seems more than capable of the task. With regards to a maternity leave, she expects it to be swift.

"I like to stay in the rhythm of things. My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I'll work throughout it," Mayer said, true to workaholic form.

Apropos of Mayer effectively juggling career and motherhood, well if all else fails, she can simply dip into the hundreds of millions she accumulated many thanks to her years at Google, and hire an extra nanny or two. Problem solved, and on with business.
Related articles: Marissa Mayer, Google, Yahoo, CEO, Fortune 500, Google Maps, Street View, Google Earth, Fortune, pregnant
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