Family Magazine

When Women Are In Power

By Monicasmommusings @mom2natkatcj

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Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a great time we as women live in.  We can have our cake and eat it too.  We can vote and we can run fortune 500 companies.  Business is still majorly a man’s world, but more and more we are seeing women run companies.  Sometimes those women are even mothers.  And the rest of us women are looking for them to pave the way for the rest of women.  We also want to know how they are going to make it all work and juggle it all.  So we can emulate that.

We expect them to really understand the needs of the working mom.  To really answer to those needs and really make a change.  What we have created is a woman CEO in a man’s world who is just trying to keep up with the big boys and prove herself to all of them while also being critiqued by women in every action she takes in running a company.

A woman has a baby and she has a right to take time off.  Men also have a right to take time off, but often times male CEOs don’t take any time off.  So a female CEO who is allowed 6 weeks off and only takes 2 is shamed for that.  Do we shame her male counterparts for doing the same or even less?  Of course not.

A female CEO takes away telecommuting positions and she is suddenly a woman hating tyrant who has taken women back 40 or even 50 years with such moves.  How dare she take away those opportunities.  She should know just how difficult it is to juggle work and family.  But then again when you’re receiving a CEO’s salary from a fortune 500 company and can afford Au Pairs and Nanny’s galore I guess she doesn’t know the true plight of the working woman now does she?

In case you haven’t figured it out I’m talking mostly about the recent actions of Yahoo’s new CEO Marissa Mayer.  She made headlines this summer when she took over the job at her young age and even bigger when she announced she was also 5 months pregnant.  And now she’s in headlines again because she chose to stop allowing telecommuting.

Is It Her Job To Worry About The Plight Of The Working Mother?

Can we honestly expect a woman to run a company based solely on the needs of the working woman?  Of course we can’t.  She wasn’t hired to be a voice across America for all working women.  She wasn’t hired to change maternity care in America.  She wasn’t hired to provide telecommuting positions at the expense of the company.

She was hired to run the company.  She was hired to make sure it keeps running.  She was hired to get it into shape after years of neglect.  And since we aren’t privy to the workings of the company we really can’t question her move nor do I think we would be questioning the same move of a male CEO.  Isn’t it ironic how we as women hold our fellow women to higher standards?  We expect her to do more for us women.  I’m curious, how many of those telecommuters are actually working mothers though?

I Love Work At Home Positions

Obviously I strongly believe in work at home positions.  I do some of my own telecommuting type work which I am being paid for.  It certainly does seem to be the wave of the future.  In most cases it’s great for the company and costs them less.  If they hire independent contractors like myself especially.  They don’t have to pay for office space and they don’t have to pay insurance and they only pay for the work they need.  No overtime work.  They can hire an independent contractor by job and as they are needed.  They don’t have to have them on payroll.

But sometimes it doesn’t work out.  If you have someone on payroll then you are paying their insurance and for overtime.  You are also likely supplying their equipment and they do come into the office to work too.  And some people are just terrible self starters.  It takes a certain personality to work from home.  While many telecommuters might be parents who have the motivation of keeping a job in good standing and keep the projects coming because they have a family to support not all telecommuters are that motivated.  Projects might not be completed in a timely manner or up to par.

While it’s easy for me to sit here on my couch and pontificate what someone else should do with the business they are running I just can’t do it.  And I can’t hold someone to a different standard just because she’s a woman.  Because the truth of it all is that a woman has so much more to prove and has to work that much harder to be everything to everyone.  She doesn’t need me picking apart everything she does.  Let her bosses do that.  Let the shareholders do that.  They are the people she answers to, not some SAHM and not even the people who worked under her.  They have a job now to prove to her that they can and will do their job from home if that’s what they want.

And really her acceptance of a job was not on the basis that she was going to change things for women or for mothers.  She accepted the job for her own selfish reasons like we all accept jobs, to help our family.  The fact that she’s a woman and a mother might seem great for some feminist ideal and certainly shows people that women can do it, but we can’t expect her to run a company only thinking of motherhood or parenthood for that matter.  If she did that she runs the risk of losing her job and providing for her family.

We don’t have the right to second guess any CEO of a company.  She has been looking at the numbers and seeing the productivity and she has decided it is best done in the office for whatever reason.  Just because in many cases people can be more productive at home doesn’t mean that’s true of everyone.  Maybe this will work out, maybe it won’t but she’s doing her job like it or not her job is not to make life more convenient for Americans.  And I highly doubt her decision was made based on anything, but how to do her job most effectively.  It wasn’t made to hurt anyone, but to improve the bottom line for her company.  I highly doubt she’s out to stick it to working moms or even wants to take feminism back 50 years.

Do you think women CEOs have a duty to other women and mothers to improve things, or is her duty to the company that hired her?

Just a little aside that I think my husband would feel I was remiss if I did not mention.  The new look of the Yahoo homepage has my husband very aggravated.  So on the off chance that you are reading this Ms. Marissa Mayer please go back to the original format.  My husband might do something drastic and get rid of all things Yahoo on his computer.

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