When Yahoo made Marissa Mayer CEO in July 2012, there was praise and excitement for her. Women were especially eager to see what she would do and what changes she would make in the company. They expected her reign at Yahoo to be groundbreaking since she was 5 months pregnant when she took the job. Instead she was criticized because she choose to return to work 2 weeks after she gave birth. Then it was announce that she had a nursery built next to her office. The choice to return 2 weeks after was a unrealistic choice for women who were in her situtation. Would they be expected to cut their maternity leave? Did she set the bar too high?
This week she made another “controversial” decision by ending telecommuting for employees. Many of her employees are not taking this well. Personally I think that this is a simple reasonable request. How can she turn the company around if all the key players are not there to discuss new ideas. It has been in my experience that good ideas are cultivated at the coffee pot, walking down the hall, or on the way to bathroom. Working from home may have been a perk that Yahoo provided to keep some of its best talent but now times have changed. Yahoo is no longer the number one search engine people use and if they goal for them is to return to that status then they way they do things will change.
We have to remember that Mayer did not ask to be the Poster Girl for women in the workplace. She is not the savior for this movement but she is one of many women who will come behind her. Instead of criticizing her we should support her because she is still a trailblazer.
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