After thirteen years as an executive at Google, Marissa Mayer landed the much-anticipated role as the new CEO of Yahoo. And while many sites focused on her potential for the company, some focused on what they saw as a pitfall: her pregnancy.
At 37 years old, Mayer became one of the few CEOs of Fortune 500 companies under the age of 40, and one of only 18 women to hold the title. But after Tuesday’s announcement of her new title, some media noted she would be the first pregnant CEO. She announced her baby is due in October, around the same time her job performance will first be analyzed, according to NPR. (The public radio’s coverage of her appointment, reprinted from the Associated Press, mentions the pregnancy as almost an afterthought at the end of their predictions for the changes she’ll make to the Internet company.)
Some major media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal don’t mention her pregnancy. But others, such as New York Magazine, the Huffington Post, news show Morning Joe, NBC News, and The Guardian ran coverage both commending and criticizing the role motherhood could potentially play in Mayer’s job evaluation. CNN’s coverage included her pregnancy in a list of other background information which included her gender and naming a former boyfriend.
A Washington Post blog commented that “what most people seem to agree on, of course, is that we wouldn’t being having this conversation if the name of the Yahoo CEO were Martin and not Marissa.” The post went on to note that “we are having the wrong dialogue again about women in the workplace. Women now often do society a triple service: They work, they bear children and they provide the key emotional bond. We ought to be figuring out how to help and celebrate them more.”
This is the Gender Report’s Week in Review, a weekly post that highlights some of the major stories related to gender issues this week. Some of these stories may have already appeared in our News Feed. We’ll at times include a longer analysis of stories as well as bring attention to stories that may have slipped through the cracks of the week’s news cycle.