Marissa Mayer Just Had Twins, But All the Focus is on Her Maternity Leave

Marissa Mayer just had twins, but all the focus is on her maternity leave 

Marissa Mayer gave birth to twins

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer gave birth to twin girls on Dec. 10 and announced the exciting news on Twitter.

Of course everyone’s happy about the newest additions to her family, but the real focus is on what’s she’s going to do for maternity leave, because of her status as a female CEO. With a recent slew of tech companies (including Netflix and Amazon) revising their parental leave policies and Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that he would be taking paternity leave, it will be interested to see if Mayer jumps on this bandwagon.

Mayer, who’s the highest paid female CEO, is already a mom to 3-year-old son Macallister, and she announced her pregnancy the first time right after accepting the job as CEO of Yahoo. Questions abounded as to how a pregnant woman could run a company, and when she said she would only take a two-week maternity leave, her ability to be a good mother was also scrutinized.

But less than a year after giving birth to Macallister, Mayer extended Yahoo’s parental-leave policy to 16 weeks of paid leave for mothers and eight weeks for fathers. Yahoo also gives new parents $500 to spend on expenses such as laundry, housecleaning, food, and child care. Mayer has again said she will spend “limited time away” with this pregnancy as well, but it isn’t clear yet if that will be longer than two weeks. “Since my 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,” she said in a statement. Plus, it is a busy time for Yahoo right now, so stepping away for a full four months would be tough.

While Zuckerberg was commended for taking his leave (even though he’s only taking half of it), it will be interesting to see if Mayer gets the same treatment. But looking at her history as a female CEO and parent, it seems doubtful. When Mayer built a nursery next to her office for her son, she had also just revoked Yahoo’s work from home policy and faced a lot of criticism for that decision. “The irony is that she has broken the glass ceiling, but seems unwilling for other women to lead a balanced life in which they care for their families and still concentrate on developing their skills and career,” Ruth Rosen, a professor emerita of women’s history at the University of California, told The New York Times back in 2013.

Will Mayer be considered a role model for her maternity leave decision as Zuckerberg was deemed for male employees? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

This article originally appeared on Levo League!

Meredith Lepore

Meredith is the former editor in chief of the women's career site, The Grindstone. Her work has appeared in Marie Claire @ Work, The Jane Dough, DailyWorth, SheKnows.com, Business Insider and Learnvest. She earned her Masters in Magazine, Newspaper and Online journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Meredith resides in New York full time and enjoys reading, jogging, SoulCycle and playing with her small dog, Otis.

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