“My maternity leave will be a few weeks long, and I’ll work throughout it.” – Marissa Mayer on www.usatoday.com
Marissa is the newly appointed CEO of Yahoo who also happens to be 6 months pregnant.
I wasn’t going to say anything about Marrisa Mayer’s statement but I’ve been asked my opinion on the matter and here it is … . I’m too opinionated to keep quiet!
Merissa is a first time Mum who is ambitions and keen to maintain her career and balance it with some form of family life – something most women aspire to do. The theory and the practice of achieving this balance is another malarkey altogether.
I’m not surprised by Marissa’s statement. Marissa being a first time mom has the goal of going back to work in good enough time not to cause any permanent damage to her already strong career. Something she has obviously worked very hard to achieve. You can’t blame her for wanting to protect it. There are people (colleagues) in the sidelines waiting for her to mess-things up so they could displace her. Being pregnant in a new high-powered job, she must be under a lot of pressure to have made that statement. Lets not make it any harder for her. Some could argue that she could have turned down the appointment, but would you have done that yourself? I’m not sure that a lot of ambitions career minded women would have turned down that appointment. Leave a comment if you would have.
Most women say they will be back at work in a few weeks, I said so myself when I was pregnant with my son but as you know I’ve never been back. I’ve had to forge my own way and really re-evaluate the kind of life I wanted to have. The thing was I wanted the buzz of the corporate career and I wanted the family as well but I found that I had to do it a different way if I was to be happy whilst pursing both.
I have friends who are pregnant and still saying that they will be back at their corporate jobs in a few weeks so that they do not miss out on possible promotions that they have worked so hard to achieve. I can’t judge them for making that choice.
Marrisa’s aspiration (which is all that statement is) is nothing new and I seriously don’t understand what the backlash is. There are women who want to have a more hands-on approach to bringing up their children and there are others who would much rather share the work with someone.
Everywoman is different and each one of us needs to figure out what we want for ourselves without feeling we had to answer to the general public as well. Women need to be supported no matter the choices they make.
If Marissa was to decide to take a year’s break or even step out of the corporate world all together – there will still be a backlash. People thought I was crazy when I decided to walk away from the corporate career.
Marissa has worked extremely hard to be where she is (as have a lot of women) and she has earned the right to do what she wants. Lets just support her no matter what! If she does decide that this isn’t working and she needs to change direction, then that is fine as well provided that she is happy with the choices that she is making.
The women who worked and are still working hard to change the rules for our generation of women, to change equality in the work place, women’s rights and others did it because of their convictions. That is the way to create true change – not by trying to please everybody.
Congrats Marissa. I wish you well. Stay true to yourself and your values. What ever you decide to do, you are already an inspiration to millions of young women who will reach new heights because of what you have done and are going to do.
The journey is not an easy one anyway you look at it. From my experience, entrepreneurial mothers are struggling for balance just as much as those in the corporate world. It’s just a different kind of struggle!