It should be an interesting autumn for the Mayer family. A day after Yahoo announced their new CEO – Marissa Mayer, a 37-year-old VP from Google – Ms. Mayer told the world she is expecting her first child in October.
Bravo to Ms. Mayer! Talk about going for the gusto – that woman has ovaries! This story illustrates what the women’s movement has been about – freeing women to make the choices that are right for them. There are three major points to be made here:
- There is no one-size-fits-all. What works for one woman isn’t the best choice for another. I was always a working mother, but I chose to dial down my career when my kids were young. Other women choose to stay home full-time, or to focus exclusively on their career and not have kids. And some, like Marissa and many others, go for the whole enchilada. Bravo to all of us. It’s great to have choices.
- Choices have consequences. No one has it all. Every choice means you don’t do something else. I have a wonderful career, but I know I had the potential to do more. Women who don’t have children miss out on a whole realm of human experience. Ms. Mayer will rarely have the opportunity to accompany her child’s class on a field trip, and she may not be there when her baby takes his first step. We need to make our choices with our eyes wide open.
- Everyone needs help. Women like Ms. Mayer have the resources to hire great helpers. But just like the rest of us, they still need the support of a loving family, a circle of friends, and a flexible workplace. The more we support and care for each other, the better it will be for all women – as well as for our children, our partners, and the businesses we work for and lead.