Sisterhood Blog

Yahoo's New, and Pregnant, CEO

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen

  • Print
  • Share Share

There is important news for working women: Marissa Mayer is leaving Google to become the new CEO of Yahoo, one of the biggest jobs in the tech industry. But that’s not all. Mayer just announced that she is seven months pregnant.

Wikimedia Commons
Marissa Mayer

This marks a radical change from the way things have been for pregnant women in the workplace. Not all that long ago —until Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978 — it was common for a woman to lose her job for being pregnant. It was even policy for women who worked as teachers and stewardesses, among other professions. But even though it is against the law, pregnancy discrimination continues to plague women in the workplace.

Every woman I know who has been pregnant while looking for work has wrestled with whether she ought to disclose it up front or not. Generally it’s not a good idea to do so until a job has been offered. But it continues to be a struggle.

So it’s particularly interesting that Mayer was offered a hugely visible job while, presumably, visibly pregnant. But then again, Mayer has experience breaking through boundaries. She became the first female engineer at Google, in 1999, back when it was a startup.

According to Fortune, it was in late June that Mayer first told a member of the CEO search committee that she was pregnant. According to Fortune:

None of the Yahoo directors, she says, revealed any concern about hiring a pregnant chief executive. ‘They showed their evolved thinking,’ says Mayer, who got the phone call last Thursday that she was the board’s choice to be CEO.

It would have been fascinating to be a fly on the wall during the deliberations by Yahoo’s board of directors as they considered hiring Mayer. Just one of the 11 board members is female.

I wonder what Yahoo’s paid parental leave policy is. Not that it will matter much for Mayer, who told Fortune that she will spend just a few weeks on maternity leave and work throughout.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.