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Mayer’s Appointment to Yahoo CEO Sparks Debate of Women Having It All

Yahoo’s newly appointed CEO, Marissa Mayers is pregnant and starting a revolution. Will Mayer’s be held as the symbol for women having it all?

Depending who you ask, Yahoo’s decision to hire Marissa Mayer several months into her pregnancy is either a boon to all working mothers or a misstep for the ailing tech company.

“Talk about lousy timing. She’ll be taking maternity leave when she needs to be at work. Yahoo has enough problems without a part-time CEO,” one commenter said in response to the Fortune article announcing news of her pregnancy.

“It is quite possible that she can do both effectively, but it is not un-‘evolved’ to express concern,” another said, referring to Mayer’s comment that Yahoo’s directors demonstrated “evolved thinking” in choosing to hire a pregnant chief executive.

“As a Yahoo shareholder, I am very concerned and have every reason to be.”

It’s possible that Mayer anticipated these reactions when she revealed her plan to work during her maternity leave so she could “stay in the rhythm of things.” Her announcement reignited an already hot debate over whether women can “have it all” and how family leave policies make it hard to juggle a successful career and family.

But Mayer isn’t your typical working mother, and some believe her experience reflects the extreme demands that corporate America places on men and women alike and how that translates to national policy.

Besides, the demands of motherhood only grow with time, author and activist Gloria Feldt said. That’s when benefits such as flexible scheduling, reduced work weeks and the option to work from home really make a difference in helping women get as close as possible to having it all.

“Life only gets busier as your children grow, and that’s where flexible benefits comes in,” she said. “We have a long way to go as a country when it comes to making those benefits accessible to everyone.”

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