Ok, so this is not a place where I normally do this, but I'm going to respond to something that's been making the media rounds lately & has made me feel slightly uncomfortable. I hadn't been able to put my finger on exactly what the feeling was until just moments ago... but that's it. I'm uncomfortable with the whole thing.
Earlier this week, Yahoo's CEO, Marissa Mayer, announced that she will only be taking 2 weeks off from work after her twins are born. First of all - the fact that she feels like she has to announce this at all is ridiculous. The same would never be expected of a male CEO. Second, the amount of scrutiny that she's being put under is a bit alarming to me. From what I understand, by U.S. standards, Yahoo has a generous maternity & paternity leave plan: 16 weeks paid leave for moms & 8 weeks for dads! When I worked at my old corporate job I believe they capped the paid maternity leave at 10 weeks (you could take more, but it would be unpaid or you'd have to dip into your vacation days - wow, thanks). So, to me, Mayer isn't crapping on the culture - she's making a choice that's right for her family, and YES, right for her company. And that's ok. Not to mention, she's in a VERY different situation financially than most women, so her options are quite open as far as exceptional childcare.
The part that's making me uncomfortable is thinking about MY place in the female workforce. If you're playing catch up - my husband and I run our own business and we are very much equal partners. I couldn't do this without him/he couldn't do this without me. So, if we were to bring a small bambino into this world, neither one of us would be able to stop working for weeks. I personally don't feel like that makes me a horrible person & I would hate to be judged for it. This does not change the fact that I would be more than OK with someone who worked for us to take parental leave... I just don't feel like it would be right for me. Not that the world would come grinding to a halt if I did, but for my personal sanity & the health of our company, I couldn't leave my work alone for weeks on end. Plus, the beauty of being alive today is the amount of flexibility technology allows us. I don't have to stay strapped to a computer to get my shit done.
I did find one article that is supportive of her choice and they kind of nailed what I'm trying to say:
And as long as you are critical of Mayer's choice to take "limited time" on maternity leave, you'll miss the bigger question: Why does Mayer need to take a longer maternity leave? Because she's a woman? Why don't you hold male CEOs to the same parenting standard?
(side note from me: YES. It takes 2 people to make that baby!)
Mayer is the fifth-highest paid CEO in the S&P 500. And keep in mind, Yahoo is going through a "unique time" as it heads into a corporate restructuring. Yahoo is spinning itself off from Alibaba, its most lucrative asset. And guess when that happens? When the twins are due to arrive.
What would you suggest that a male CEO do in a situation like this? Stay away from work? Of course not. You'd expect him to hire help. Male CEOs are entitled to paternity leave, and we don't get out the pitchforks when they choose not to take it.
(Another side note: at my last corporate job they DID get out the pitchforks when a guy TOOK his paternity leave... clearly, he wasn't prioritizing correctly. blah)
At the end of the day - this is a personal choice she made, so we should all be a little better at minding our own business. GAHHH. rant over. bye.