by Cassandra R. Elias
In the News: Yahoo's New CEO Breaks the Discrimination Chain
It's been one of the banes of pregnant women's existence for as long as one can remember. Trying to find a job while pregnant is practically impossible. Whether it's the employer's fear of higher insurance costs, or that the expectant mom will miss too much work, employers are hesitant to hire moms-to-be.
So when the new CEO of Yahoo announced that she was pregnant at the time that she was offered the position, it's done more than make waves. Women and businesses have taken notice!
37-year-old Marissa Mayer is the newly named CEO of Yahoo -- obviously a huge achievement for anyone, but especially for a woman in a male-dominated industry and six months pregnant!
This has ignited online debates as to the inherent unfairness as to this being news. No one would even mention pregnancy if the new CEO were an expectant father. Even if the father were attending all medical appointments and taking a long paternity leave, it would not be considered a problem for most employers.
Mayer is not only unique but she becomes the 20th current female CEO of a Fortune 500 company (4 percent according to Catalyst).
On Monday, she told Fortune magazine that the Yahoo board "showed their evolved thinking" by hiring a pregnant chief executive, and that she plans to take only a few weeks maternity leave -- during which she would work.
Some think this first-time mom may be thinking that will be easier said than done and that Mayer may find herself a bit more overwhelmed.
The majority of the online debate praises Yahoo for the hiring but there is chatter about the fact that Mayer's wealth, prominence and power may not make her best poster child for the cause as it's not relevant to typical women. Her worth has been estimated in the hundreds of millions thanks to Google stock.
It's big news but it shouldn't be and one day, perhaps in part thanks to Mayer and Yahoo, it won't be news at all.
But for now, it is and we hope it has the impact we all hope for – an end to pregnancy discrimination in hiring practices.
What do you think about this story? Do you think this hiring will inspire a change in hiring policies across the board?
Photo courtesy Forbes.com.