The new CEO of Yahoo was already a sensation before she announced, three hours after Yahoo announced her new job, that she is six months pregnant.
I waded into the conversation reluctantly. I’m divorced, no kids, work now for whom I choose and have always worked mostly with men, including more than my share of more traditional European and Latin American men. And I have always expected, and received, opportunities that were based on merit.
I never complained about sexism. I just did the work.
That’s not to say I don’t strongly advocate for equal opportunity for all genders, races, sexual orientations, level of physical capabilities, and ethnic backgrounds. However, I don’t believe in ignoring a basic truth: Not all jobs are well suited for all people and not all people for all jobs. Some jobs, like Big Four audit partner, new parent, Fortune 500 CEO and road warrior international consultant require a level of time, energy and dedication many are not willing to commit. I believe that you are a poor example and a poor steward of God’s gifts if you do these jobs without a 125% commitment.
Mayer is 37, and pregnancy is more risky for her and the baby than if she were younger. The March of Dimes says 1 in 5 women in the United States has her first child after age 35 and the good news is most have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. Studies show, though, that women in their mid-to-late 30s and 40s may face some special pregnancy risks. Mayer may need more than a “few weeks” and may not be able to “work throughout it,” like she told Fortune. As far as we know, mom and baby are healthy, but contingency planning, starting now, should also be in the works.
Why aren’t more women complaining instead about the horrible example of someone seemingly succumbing to peer and media pressure and planning to shortchange one of the most wonderful and blessed things life has to offer just so no one questions her abilities?
The Forbes editors asked me to cover only the disclosure issues, only the law, only the answers to the questions some might be asking about who should have told shareholders what and when.
In spite of that limited scope, I was called a misogynist, a sexist, and more by commenters (Read the comments!) and other bloggers and writers just for raising the issue of disclosures.
I’ve been called much worse. It’s all in a day’s work.