She’s incredibly bright, was one of Google’s first employees. Oh, and she’s six months pregnant.
And in a brilliant – not to mention forward thinking – move, Yahoo has hired Marissa Meyer to be its new CEO. This is a great step for women… not least because according to Maternity Action, 30,000 British women lose their jobs every year as a result of getting pregnant. Why? Do they suddenly start committing grand fraud en masse, squirelling away money from the company funds to buy nappies? No, thought not.
Instead, the reason is much more depressing – and predictable. As one business leader, Glencore chairman Simon Murray said last year, ‘Pregnant ladies have nine months off. Do you think that means what I'm absolutely desperate to have is young women who are about to get married in my company, and that I really need them on board because I know they're going to get pregnant and they're going to go off for nine months?’
Er, what?! Fact: women get pregnant and have children. This doesn’t mean they lose the ability to be amazing at their jobs or their desire to climb the career ladder. Or their brains. (This point is especially important, given it’s finally been revealed this week that women are smarter than men.)
And okay, not all will be the same as Marissa, who has announced she only plans to take two weeks maternity leave. But even if new mums want to take a year off, why should this still be a point of discrimination? And if it’s such a problem, why don’t the men (because it does usually take two people to have a baby, right?) take the time off to care for the baby while the woman goes back to work? After all, the Government has previously proposed opening up the right to extended parental leave for fathers.
So we applaud Yahoo for realising that Marissa Meyer is the right person for the job… and that the fact she is pregnant is irrelevant.
Now we just need other companies to do the same…