Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo! has given birth to twin girls. On Tumblr and Twitter, she thanked all those who supported her throughout her pregnancy and added that the “whole family was doing great.”
A few weeks ago, she announced her plans to take “limited time away” from her office and explained the decision by saying that as her “pregnancy has been healthy and uncomplicated and since this is a unique time in yahoo’s transformation, I plan to approach the pregnancy and delivery as I did with my son three years ago.”
This is the statement, which regardless of the safe delivery of the twins, has caused much debate. And debate mostly centred on how dare Marissa Mayer just take two weeks maternity leave! But how dare she not?
This is not the first time that Ms Mayer has attracted controversy. There was that backlash over her decision to ban workers from telecommuting. And who could forget that statement, “I don’t think I would consider myself a feminist” uttered in the MAKERS: Women Who Make America documentary.
Of course she did go on to add that she believed in equal rights, but the damage was done. And now she is back in the news.
She hasn’t said that she will be taking two weeks off, but because the “limited time away” she took three years ago was two weeks, it has been assumed so and she is being judged for it.
Anne Weisberg, the senior vice president of the Families and Work Institute in New York said, “Mayer’s announcement is disappointing. She’s a role model and I think she should take whatever’s parental leave is.”
For Kirsten Rowe-Finkbeiner, the issue is elsewhere. Rather than asking Ms. Mayer to justify her action, more should instead obtain parental leave and make statutory leave a right.
“We are the only developed country without it and that has to change,” she added. “When was the last time a male CEO was asked about how he would handle a new baby and his work?”
However, technology companies in America are leading the way in providing better parental leave policies. Marissa Mayer was actually the one who introduced the 16 weeks paid leave at Yahoo!
But already, some are saying she doesn’t know what is going to hit her, as if with bated breaths, they were waiting for Mayer to be hit.
Hit or not, time will tell. When she gave birth to her son in 2012, Mayer had a nursery built in her office. Who knows then what she might do with the twins?