What Does Having It All Mean Anyway?
When Marissa Mayer was announced as the new Chief Executive of Yahoo yesterday, like many women around the world, I cheered. Seeing a woman in such a high profile tech position reinforced my beliefs that if you work hard enough for something you can get it.
When I read Mayer was pregnant, I cheered again. I applauded Yahoo for being so forward thinking and at the same time wondered how this is still considered to be “out there” when it should be the norm.
Then I read this:
“My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I’ll work throughout it.”
Woah. Hang on a minute!
Am I the only one who sees a problem here? I recognise that it’s Mayer’s life and up to her what she does with it but I can’t help but wish she hadn’t shared her plans publicly. I can’t help but feel this is placing even more unrealistic expectations on us normal i.e not superhuman working mothers who might actually like to see out our maternity leave for as long as we can feasibly afford to.
Is it even classed as maternity leave if you are working throughout it?
So many women already have a hard time when they announce they will be taking their full maternity entitlement, what impact, if any will her statement have on companies around the globe?
So this got me thinking about the recent articles asking the age-old question, can women have it all? Does Mayer prove we can? Or does it prove that we can only have it all if we give up certain things like spending time with our newborns or missing out on our children growing up?
Is this what having it all means or is having it all dependent on what your “all” is?
I’d love to hear your views on this. What does “having it all” mean to you?