Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chasing the Wrong Ring

There was a lengthy article in today's WSJ about new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and the challenges she will face in her new roles as CEO and mother (she's due in October):

Pregnant women are a comparative rarity among senior executives. Several veteran recruiters can't recall more than a single instance involving a pregnant candidate for a C-suite position. Dora Vell, managing partner of Vell & Associates, a high-tech search firm in Waltham, Mass., believes some pregnant executives "self select out" while expecting, waiting until their children are a bit older before pursuing top management posts.

Ms. Mayer has said she recently worked 90-hour weeks at Google, typically attending 60 meetings weekly. But some wonder whether she can sustain the pace.

The focus of the article was on how Mayer’s opportunity at Yahoo could break new ground for female executives and the difficulties that women encounter when they try to “have it all.” Conspicuously absent was any mention of how having a CEO mother might impact the child. I can’t imagine it’s good for kids to have a father who’s a CEO with all the time committments that comes with the position. It’s got to be even worse when it’s your mother who’s essentially given up her personal life for a corporate leadership position. I guess that’s a question that no one wants to ask or answer.