Marissa Mayer and the world’s shortest maternity leave

As most of you have already heard, Marissa Mayer, formerly a Google exec, was recently appointed the new CEO of Yahoo!. She’s very pregnant, with a due date in early October. This is so exciting for women everywhere, except that she commented “My maternity leave will be a few weeks long, and I’ll work throughout it.” (NYtimes) This is so incredibly disappointing. Does she really think that this action won’t affect other women? Especially those in her new organization? She claims to want to make Yahoo! the best place to work. This isn’t a very good start, with her basically stating with her actions that maternity leave isn’t necessary. Here’s an article that expresses exactly how I feel about this.

Let’s hope that under Mayer’s supervision Yahoo! won’t become a place that doesn’t respect the need for parental leave, for both men and women.


Publicerad den 31 augusti, 2012 av Alice Marshall
4 kommentarer
Alice Marshall
Gender Equality & Diversity Consultant
Alice Marshall is a gender equality consultant at Add Gender. She wrote her Master's thesis at Stockholm University about best practices for gender equality in the IT industry. She is the only gender equality consultant in Sweden specializing in IT. She is very interested in gender equality and diversity as a strategy to make businesses more profitable, innovative and fun to work for. Before completing her Master's degree, she worked for Ernst & Young and Harlem Village Academies in New York.

4 svar

  1. I fully agree, as the head of a company you set the standard and shows if it is ok to have a long vacation, be unhappy, leave early in the afternoon, say no, have a parental leave but I also think it should be ok for women to say, just as Birgitta Ohlsson did when she was pregnant and was appointed Minister for European Union Affairs, ‘the child has a father’. Of course you as a mother should be able to stay at home with the baby but still I wonder where are the fathers in all this?

  2. Alice Marshall Alice Marshall skriver:

    Good point. The father has not really been a part of the discussion, and I agree that it’s a big missing piece. As you point out, Birgitta Ohlsson publicly made the point that the father would do a lot of the child-raising. The fact that the piece about the father is missing from the Mayer story just shows how frequently Americans expect to not get parental leave, and instead have to rely on nannies and other help from day 1. Your point actually reflects that this is the norm now. I agree that splitting up responsibilities should be a larger part of the dialogue surrounding parenting in general. In an equal society, everyone would have the option of taking maternity or paternity leave and divvying it up as they choose among both parents. However, in the US, many women only get 2-6 weeks of upaid maternity leave, and many men get only 2 weeks unpaid, which is why it’s so damaging that a CEO such as Mayer is implying that parental leave (for either men or women) is unnecessary.

  3. I understand, I see this with very Swedish eyes and a fully agree that it is damaging that a CEO implies that parental leave is unnecessary since it is really the other way around.

  4. [...] nya VD är gravid. Det uppstod genast en diskussion om att hon har tänkt sig en kort föräldraledighet, några veckor. Ja, som chef sätter du normer genom ditt sätt att vara. Jobbar du sent är det den normen du [...]


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