Marissa Mayer – Woman Extraordinaire
Marissa Mayer was named the new CEO of Yahoo just this past July. The next announcement was that she is also…..pregnant. This amazing piece of information is not often said in the same breath when announcing leadership positions of global tech companies. Being a pregnant lady myself working full-time in the corporate world, I wondered to myself, how in the world can she pull this off? Who is this wonder woman??
Being pregnant in the workplace is often a game changer as priorities and workloads shift and schedules change. Instead of tackling new projects or accepting a promotion, many expectant moms prepare their work life in order to make room for their pending bundle of joy. Marissa Mayer, has chosen a different route and become an anomaly for the typical working woman by instead, ramping up her corporate game while pregnant. That mindset is probably what got her the #42 spot on the Forbes list of Power Women. Not only does she hold a couple patents on artificial intelligence, but she also serves on the board of Wal-Mart.
Maternity leave for Mayer is going to be an abbreviated time off as she announced she will be working through her leave. As CEO, she will probably be able to set her schedule and conduct meetings on her own timetable, calling the shots from her vantage point instead of trying to meet someone else’s timeline. She may have the perfect job.
Mayer’s compensation package from Yahoo, is not to be glossed over. It’s fantastic. It is valued at $71 to $120 million over her five-year contract. Her income earnings are going to allow her to juggle CEO responsibilities with mommyhood with a lot more ease than most moms. She is going to be able to support a team of nannies, house cleaners, chefs, drivers, landscapers, and personal assistants to help her accomplish everyday household activities while manning the helm at Yahoo. Many women, including myself, fulfill all those roles and really like being the captain of the ship. However, some days, I wouldn’t mind outsourcing some of these tasks.
Mayer, being a female techie celebrity in a field dominated by men, was about to be on my short list of women I admire until I learned more about her politics. I had assumed she was a Republican, however I was quite wrong. She is an active political donor for the Democratic Party. She has been to numerous White House dinners and also hosted a fundraiser dinner for the Obamas. I ask myself, why would a woman of such intellect and corporate ambition be in the same camp as our president, since he has railed against wealthy private corporations, stigmatized the use of private jets, and enjoyed telling business owners that “you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen.” Since I learned this tidbit about Mayer, I realized she may be in over her head and not have time to follow the destructive economic policies of the Obama administration. Or perhaps she is just following the playbook of other high-profile corporate execs and hoping to get on the good side of the administration, similar to Jeffrey Immelt of GE, in order to avoid becoming a target in their crosshairs for more regulation.
Aside from deciphering her political leanings, I wonder will Mayer be able to do all the fun things that come with preparing for your first baby, like picking out crib sheets, the right paint color for the nursery, reading all the pregnancy books, and getting to fuss over these details? Oh and preparing for the big day, the actual childbirth. It’s a lot to digest and I give Mayer a lot of credit for being pregnant all the while having her mind dominated by coordinating Yahoo’s strategy and high-level goals.
While disappointed with Mayer’s political donations, perhaps she will soon realize what generational debt her offspring will be subject to. What surprises me is that very few of the media outlets that ran the introduction of Mayer went into detail about anything else in her life besides her pregnancy and her Google background. Even CNN did a piece, “Know Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer in 11 Facts,” and there was not one mention of her politics. Why wouldn’t they want to shout from the rooftops that she is also an ardent Democrat supporter? I wonder if she would get the same amount of press if she had been pegged as a Republican donor? Or would she be given the trite media label as an evil corporatist because she happens to be a conservative.
Forget the antiquated glass ceiling with Mayer, she shattered that years ago. She is in a position of power and leadership with the ability to influence. I just wish she had the economic knowledge to understand that Obama’s policies will negatively impact her push for productivity and profitability at Yahoo. I can only hope that motherhood will give her pause to reconsider her political devotions and think about what future lies ahead for her baby.