Will Yahoo’s New CEO Really Take Just “A Few Weeks Off” for Maternity Leave?

Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway

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When I read about Marrisa Mayer’s appointment as Yahoo’s CEO, I was impressed and ready to pop the cork on the champagne bottle. Not yet 40, obviously intelligent and (gasp), a woman.  Mayer’s credentials are impressive: she graduated with honors from Stanford and majored in computer science and artificial intelligence. She also helped design Google’s home page, worked for the company for approximately 13 years and was its first female engineer.

So, what’s the problem? She’s pregnant like the rest of the 4 million women in our country. Mayers alleges Yahoo doesn’t think this will be a problem and Wall Street is praying that she is correct.  Unfortunately, Mayer’s pregnancy and postpartum course will be viewed with strict scrutiny. And yes, it’s because she’s a woman.

I reflect back to my days in residency training when the number of women in a traditionally male-dominated profession began to rise.  When a…

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