Why We Should Pause & Say 'Congratulations' To Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer
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Does new Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, who is pregnant, deserve all the scrutiny she's getting?

Congratulations are in order for Marissa Mayer.

For starters, the 37-year-old was recently named the CEO of Yahoo!. Ladies everywhere should be rejoicing — this is a huge accomplishment for Mayer, who is now one of only 20 women to hold the title of CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

But alas, the haters and criticizers have spoken, and already Mayer is under a ton of scrutiny coming from a lot of different sides — primarily dealing with the company's current financial situation, and the fact that Mayer is expecting her first child.

Yes, she's pregnant — another reason to say congratulations. She's also powerful, smart and has a chance to turn a company around; so, why all of the hate?

Let's start with the future of Yahoo! as a company. Mayer, as the new CEO, has been placed on the edge of what some call a "glass cliff." As one writer from Forbes explained, a glass cliff "is the place women leaders are perched when they reach the top of a company that has been in trouble. Having broken through the glass ceiling, these women find themselves in a precarious position — making them more likely to take the blame if company results don't improve fast."

Business issues aside, a "Mommy War" has been waged against Mayer. Some are concerned that her pregnancy makes her destined to fail in her attempt to restore the company. For the most part, however, the anger comes from Mayer's plan to keep her maternity leave brief and work throughout her pregnancy.

I'm not a mother, but I wholeheartedly agree with one writer, Amy Keyishian, who says, "Well, you know what sets a worse precedent? Assuming that Mayer's going to fail, and that this one choice of hers is what's going to change—or not change—attitudes toward pregnant women in the workplace."

Mayer seems to have the world at her fingertips. She's got a powerful job and the opportunity to make a real impact in the workplace, plus a baby on the way. So why do we have to criticize at all? Why can't we give her the congratulations she truly deserves? Have some respect. After all, as Keyishian notes, she had the tenacity to make it this far.

"Me? I spent an hour looking at up-dos on Pinterest when I was supposed to be writing this piece," writes Keyishian. There you go. That's why most of us aren't equipped to judge.

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