Former Google executive, now Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayers gave both to a baby boy recently. All the top links in Google were regarding her new role as a mommy CEO. The role of a woman CEO, who has pursued the role of motherhood as well, is a great example for women. Wether Marissa Mayer will be an attentive mother or not (or an attentive CEO or not) is not our concern. She is after all a privileged woman who belongs to the 1%. Mayer was six months pregnant when Yahoo! announced her new position, and since then she has formulated a new strategy for the company.
Just as I had worried, a great number of people were questioning Mayer’s ability to lead Yahoo! How can a post pregnant woman turn around a company? Won’t she be a bad mother? Already journalists and the comment sections are filled with good wishes, criticism, and judgements. Her post pregnancy plans her avidly discussed.
This made me question the role of women in contemporary society. We look at the 1950s and 60s as the wrong picture of womanhood. Educated women with the problem that had no name, a Sylvia Plath sort of tragedy. It ends up being, that we do have women to refer to in the fortune 500 world. As different as they may be from me or you – the salary, the network, the connection, the vacations – they are here and here. Just recently, Haravrd University had appointed its first female president (way after the female leaders of England or Pakistan).
How about our very own President Jennifer Raab! She is a mother, a lawyer from Harvard, and has a masters from Princeton. Her background is quite different from mine in many ways, but she is an example of a woman who had her cake and ate it too.
I most certainly have to pay a tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsberg because she went to my elementary school. She is a Supreme Court Justice, an advocate for gender equality all the while she has been a wife and mother.
Oh and Oprah.
I am not a huge Oprah Winfery fan – I never cared for her show nor her book columns, her channel, her advice, etc.
But man, do I live this picture:
A black women between two old, white dudes. Sure, Oprah does not have kids. She has a boyfriend whom she can get away from when he gets on her nerves. But Oprah certainly had her struggles and she built an empire that attracts white women in America to Muslim women in Saudi Arabia.
So, in the end – Congratulations, Marissa. Enjoy your time with your son, and just know that you are the CEO of Yahoo! Don’t let the corporate world take away the experience of motherhood and womanhood.
Every woman has a right to feel like a woman – whatever that definitions encompasses.