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Yahoo CEO sparks debate over maternity leave

Last month The Daily Record launched Path to Excellence magazine, as well as an accompanying website and e-mail newsletter.

It was always our intention that Path to Excellence would become more interactive, giving women the opportunity to share information and connect with each other — both in person and online.

Beginning today, Path to Excellence will have a dedicated blog that will focus on primarily national news topics that connect to women in business.

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Marissa Mayer at Chirp 2009 II by Jolie O'Dell

Marissa Mayer at Chirp 2009 II by Jolie O’Dell

And now to the good part ….

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced Wednesday via her Tumblr page that she and her husband are expecting twin girls due in December. Just as she did during her first pregnancy several years ago, Mayer said she would be working throughout and taking limited time off after her delivery.

Similar to her first announcement, Mayer’s pledge drew criticism — primarily about the message she is sending about maternity leave and women in the technology field.

Mayer summed it up this way:

“Moving forward, there will be a lot to do for both my family and for Yahoo; both will require hard work and thoughtful prioritization.  However, I’m extremely energized by and dedicated to both my family and Yahoo and will do all that is necessary and more to help both thrive.  The future looks extremely bright on both fronts.”

And, while some criticized her choice, others questioned why male CEOs are not held to the same standard when it comes to their parenting choices. Mayer, after all, is the fifth-highest paid CEO in the S&P 500.

This CNN op-ed piece asserts:

“Imagine if Mayer had taken four months of paid leave as Yahoo spins off from Alibaba. Her compensation package in 2015 was worth $41.2 million. Can’t you just see the blog posts calculating the “true cost” of her maternity leave down to the hour? Either she’s a lousy mom or CEO who’s not dedicated. The only way she wins is if she makes the best choice for her own personal situation.”

What are your thoughts about Mayer’s decision? Should she take more time off around her pregnancy? Or, is it unfair to expect women to take time off from their careers when male business executives are not expected to do the same when they have children?