Gini Dietrich

Marissa Mayer: Why Are We Still Having this Conversation?

By: Gini Dietrich | July 19, 2012 | 
221

I have a question. Why are so many journalists and bloggers writing with advice for Marissa Mayer?

Risking the fact that you might be tired of the “women rule” trip I’m on lately, I really want to know what the heck is going on.

If this were a 37-year-old man whose wife was pregnant, we wouldn’t be talking about this. In fact, it would be a non-story, other than the fifth CEO in five years has joined Yahoo! and Wall Street is paying attention.

They might wonder why he hadn’t attended the earnings call on his first day. That could have been a story. And, certainly, coming from Google is a story.

But it wouldn’t be about his gender, his age, the fact that he and his wife are expecting, or even how he feels about burnout and whether or not it’s naive.

No one would give him advice, as it compares to Carly Fiorina’s “failure” at HP. No one would be talking about the “glass cliff” he’s on (do you know this term? It’s going to make you angry). No one would be giving him advice about taking leave after the baby arrives. And certainly no one would be putting the work/life balance discussion squarely on his shoulders by saying,

Women and girls the world over are looking to you to inspire, set trends in the workplace, and establish what it means to be a young working mom helming a Fortune 500 company.

Is this really 2012? Or have we stepped into a time warp?

Yahoo!, the once Internet darling, isn’t faring so well, and it may take longer than five years to undo what her predecessors have left in their wake. There may be some sour apples that interim CEO, Ross Levinsohn, didn’t get the job. And, according to reports, the culture is in dire need of fixing.

All of these things would be there no matter who took over the helm.

I wish her the best of luck in her new job. I hope she’s not on a glass cliff, but has success at Yahoo!.

That’s the conversation we should be having in a year – what she’s doing to turn around the company; not her age, her new baby, or her gender.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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221 Comments on "Marissa Mayer: Why Are We Still Having this Conversation?"

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belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 10 months ago

Well said @ginidietrich !!! All the online chatter about this woman is kinda making me sick. She’s either going to succeed. Or not. Get off the “gender/mom/superwoman” bandwagon everyone, please. 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @belllindsay It’s really bothering me. At first I kind of laughed it off and now I’m actually pissed.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich Next post, how she gets her lovely blonde bob to be so lovely and blonde and bob’y…!?!? 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @belllindsay And so shiny?

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich It’s a look you really should aspire to Gini. Who knows, maybe YOU can be a CEO one day too!! Wait. Never mind. 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @belllindsay Ha! I’m cool with being CEO of my own little organization. While I’d love to change this conversation at a higher level, I’m not sure I could take all the “news” that is being written about her. I’m sure there would be tears a few times a day.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich Yeah, I mean, we joke, but I can’t fathom her life right now. I like being the little fish, thank you very much! 😀 

KenMueller
3 years 10 months ago

 @belllindsay  @ginidietrich Could one of you two get me a sandwich? I’m starved.

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @KenMueller  @belllindsay Lindsay, do you want to hit him first?

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich  @KenMueller Right in the shins. Wearing my Docs. 😉

KenMueller
3 years 10 months ago

 @belllindsay  @ginidietrich a shin kick? What’s a guy gotta do around here to get punched in the face? Man, your husband must have REALLY done something stupid.

margieclayman
margieclayman
3 years 10 months ago

Just wrote a post for next week along these same lines and conversed about it yesterday. There are more articles about her wedding from a few years ago than about how she might perform as CEO. It’s highly disturbing.

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @margieclayman And about how she dated Larry Page 12 or 13 years ago. WHO CARES?! Can she run the company? That’s all we should care about.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich  @margieclayman HAHA I was gonna mention that one – the inference being, of course, that she only advanced at Google because of who she was in bed with. AARRGGHH!! 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @belllindsay  @margieclayman Oh yeah. Because that’s how we get ahead. We sleep our way to the top.

KenMueller
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich  @belllindsay  @margieclayman I guess her Page Rank ain’t what it used to be…

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich  @margieclayman HAHA! Right!? 

jasonkonopinski
3 years 10 months ago

I knew you were going to rail on about this. Gender politics never cease to amaze me, especially when it comes to business. 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @jasonkonopinski I wasn’t going to write about it and then I read another “advice” piece last night and I lost it. 

jasonkonopinski
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich It’s insufferable. 

JCMorganKreidel
JCMorganKreidel
3 years 10 months ago

People seem to love horrifying pregnant under the guise of “advice,” from re-telling tales of three-day long labor to tips on how to get by on less sleep to when you throw in the towel and just stay home. The fact that she’s pregnant should be at most an interesting footnote, not yet another arrow in the so-called Mommy Wars. Enough already!

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @JCMorganKreidel Did you see the one article that told her which kind of robe to keep in her “go” bag? Give me a freaking break. Let her lead the company.

JCMorganKreidel
JCMorganKreidel
3 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich I’d like to see an article about what shoes to have in her “kick butt” bag.

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @JCMorganKreidel  I’ll bet they’re Jimmy Choos. 🙂

KenMueller
3 years 10 months ago

All I care about is whether or not she can right a sinking ship. And if she can’t, I hope people base their assessment on what she does or doesn’t do, not that she wasn’t up to the task because of all the things they are talking about.
 
That’s one job I wouldn’t want, that’s for sure.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 10 months ago

 @KenMueller That’s *exactly* what they’re going to say “See, *that’s* why you never hire pregnant women!” 

KenMueller
3 years 10 months ago

 @belllindsay She should punch them all in the face and break their noses!

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 10 months ago

 @KenMueller I would. 😉

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @belllindsay  @KenMueller It’s that glass cliff phenomenon. I’m going to be really angry again in a year, aren’t I?

KenMueller
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich  @belllindsay You should show them by getting pregnant and taking AD to the Fortune 500!

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @KenMueller  @belllindsay Well…I can do one of those two things. The other one God won’t let me do. He has other plans, I guess.

KenMueller
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich  @belllindsay aw geez

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @KenMueller  Kelly wants to adopt a basketball team. At once. So I could do it non-conventionally. And SHOW THEM! 

KenMueller
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich Maybe you can be LeBron’s new mom

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @KenMueller Um. No.

KenMueller
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich Trust me. He needs a mom to set him straight. You could do it.

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @KenMueller He needs someone to set him straight.

thebrandbuilder
thebrandbuilder
3 years 10 months ago

New crime: Being CEO while not white, old and male.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 10 months ago

 @thebrandbuilder Best is, if she already *had* children, they’d be railing about what a bad mom she was for being an uppity, hard working CEO! ;D 

jasonkonopinski
3 years 10 months ago

 @belllindsay  @thebrandbuilder There hasn’t been nearly enough written on the fact that Google lost employee #20.  

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @thebrandbuilder Oh the shame!

RebeccaTodd
3 years 10 months ago

Ugh. I was willfully ignorant of this, then I just kept hearing about how she was pregnant I tuned in a bit as I was confused. Why is this the conversation and not the whole Google thing? And I had not heard glass cliff, and yes I am now very irritated.  I can’t even say more without ranting. 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @RebeccaTodd I have been getting more and more angry all week. So I did rant (as you can see).

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich  @RebeccaTodd I’m such a dork. I’m embarrassed to say that when I read your post Gini, I thought it said “GRASS cliff” – hahahaha!! Which is more interesting frankly – brings in the ‘homefront’ angle, perfect for a new mom/CEO! 😉

RebeccaTodd
3 years 10 months ago

 @belllindsay  @ginidietrich Hah grass cliff. Gold. 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @belllindsay  @RebeccaTodd And then I panicked and thought that’s what I wrote.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich I lost count of how many comments I deleted on the last post about having it all. I was out of control.  

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 10 months ago

 @RebeccaTodd  @ginidietrich I know. Hard to hold back on issues like this. 

RebeccaTodd
3 years 10 months ago

 @belllindsay  @ginidietrich Don’t even get me started on gaslighting!!!

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @RebeccaTodd LOL!! That actually makes me very, very happy.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich Remind me to tell you about my last night on the road in San Diego last fall…

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @RebeccaTodd Oh I can’t wait to hear!

andysternberg
3 years 10 months ago
I think many people have an emotional interest in wishing Yahoo! succeeds — it identifies strongly as a product that’s been there throughout the story arc of the browser-based internet. So in a way, I sense the “advice,” as overbearing and at times unprofessional as it seems, is a reflection of this connection to Yahoo and its umbrella of products. Plus a sense that Mayer — or whomever was chosen to play CEO — symbolizes the last great hope to a tired shareholder base. And, oh yeah, lazy journalism — her work is cut out for her so its all… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @andysternberg I agree with you, to a certain extent. But the “advice” wouldn’t be as prevalent as it is if it were a man. If they’d announced Levinsohn had the role permanently, do you really think these stories would be all over the place? I mean, they’re talking about what to put in her hospital go bag and which shoes she should wear to board meetings. Give me a break.

andysternberg
3 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich male CEOs are boring and don’t wear heels? I dont recall Carol Bartz receiving so much advice but then again she never seemed very open to it. Mayer was Google #20, is pregnant and, I dunno… *short attention span* #linkbait

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @andysternberg  LMAO!!

bdorman264
3 years 10 months ago

I wonder if they knew she was pregnant before offering her the job; you can still ask that, right? 
 
The sooner we get to ability based merit and promotion regardless of age, sex, color, religion, etc then that would be a pretty good place to be. HOWEVER, and even though strides have been made, there are just too many factors involved to always make it entirely a level playing field. 
 
Rant on………..I did have something else ‘smart’ to add but seeing how this is a hot button for you and we are pals, I’m smart enough to take my ‘funny’ somewhere else……..:). 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @bdorman264 They did know. She told them in her second interview. And we’re certainly never going to have a level playing field as long as we’re more concerned about giving her maternity leave advice than letting her run the company.

John Fitzgerald
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich I agree with what you’re saying 100%. I just have one question about the process – if she had not gotten the job after telling them she was pregnant, wouldn’t she have had an airtight legal case with which to sue Yahoo out of existence?
 
Actually, my fiancé asked me that and I was stumped. So I’m asking you!

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @John Fitzgerald I don’t know what the law states…I know if she hadn’t told them during her interviews, she could be in big trouble once starting her new job. But I don’t know if it’s a fireable offense…or one that can be sued for not getting a job. There are a gazillion reasons you could not get a job…or at least they could claim so.

John Fitzgerald
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich Interesting. I was under the impression that an employer cannot, under any circumstances, ask personal questions pertaining to marital or family status. If that’s true, then she wouldn’t have been in any trouble at all by not telling them.

John Fitzgerald
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrichFound it, thanks to Google: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/foia/letters/2007/pregnancy_discrimination.html
 
 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @John Fitzgerald Right…it prevents them from using the pregnancy as the reason for not hiring her. But, if they had two or three other viable candidates in the interview process and they didn’t hire her, it would be hard to prove it was because she is pregnant. Unfortunately.

bdorman264
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich I was kidding………you can’t ask that and even I am smart enough to know NEVER to ask ‘when are you due?’

Ike
3 years 10 months ago

For the record, Yahoo! is still quite profitable. It’s not Growing, but it’s not declining either.
 
It just needs to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up. Right now, it’s a chimera of platypus parts.

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @Ike And, apparently now run by a young girl who is playing house for the first time. Isn’t that cute?

Ike
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich I don’t think it’s “cute” at all. She’s legit, and most of the articles have done nothing but reinforce stupid stereotypes.
 
A couple of links that ARE good:
 
http://www.cringely.com/2012/07/16/new-yahoo-ceo-marissa-mayer-is-no-sorkin-hero/
 
http://www.cringely.com/2012/07/18/how-marissa-mayer-can-still-save-yahoo/

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @Ike Um, sarcasm. I was being sarcastic. 

debdobson62
debdobson62
3 years 10 months ago
Gini, I’ve stopped reading the articles.  They all do make me sick.  The first one I read I sighed and thought wow, that journalist is being the times.  Sadly enough the articles kept coming and it just makes me very angry.  Focusing on the hospital go bag, who she dated, none of this is relevant to her track record in leadership, what she accomplished at Google, what Google is losing by her changing companies, what the previous four CEOs have done/not done at Yahoo, Yahoo’s history, current state…..for some reason, I see a lot of potential angles to this story,… Read more »
debdobson62
debdobson62
3 years 10 months ago

Being=behind….typos when pissed.

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @debdobson62 I agree wholeheartedly! I wasn’t going to write this. In fact, I wrote it to get it out of my system and then let it sit. But I was still angry when I came back to it so decided to publish it. I want things to change. I’ll do my piece in making sure they do.

danielnewmanUV
danielnewmanUV
3 years 10 months ago

I’m interested in seeing how it turns out.  If Yahoo turns around under her leadership this conversation will be a non-starter.  If it doesn’t, then this doesn’t really matter and may not have been worth the energy we spent on it.
The bottom line here is the bottom line.
Yahoo finally has people talking about them again…so maybe this had a publicity play but I’ll leave that up to the PR experts, and I’m definitely not one.
Cheers!

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @danielnewmanUV I guess there are still those who think all PR is good. I’m ont one of them…and these conversations are detrimental to the strides women have made in the last 60 years. 

danielnewmanUV
danielnewmanUV
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich hard to say what is good anymore.  I hope she has a great career at Yahoo, and I truly hope Yahoo vetted and hired her for the right reasons.  
Stay thirsty my friend….

MattLaCasse
3 years 10 months ago
What if her baby is like, SUPER CUTE? Can we talk about it in a year?    TOTALLY kidding. This is a ridiculous angle to a very interesting business story. Frankly, I really don’t give a damn about her kid. Or that she’s a working mom-to-be. Or that she’s married. Or what kind of creamer she likes in her coffee. Or how she likes her steak cooked. It simply doesn’t matter. This is the media assigning gender roles to people because it needs them to fit into boxes it has been familiar with for many years.   A great post… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @MattLaCasse It’s because we still aren’t on a level playing field. OMG. A woman running a Fortune 500 company? Like, seriously?

OneJillian
3 years 10 months ago

I highly agree. I kept wanting to know what the huge deal was about her taking the CEO position, as surely we have heard of the Wal*Mart/SAMS Club CEO, Rosalind G. Brewer – or the Xerox CEO, Ursula M. Burns…..Not young, spry, soon-to-be-mother-37-year-old women but certainly in our day & age they still represent palm trees in a dessert. (can I copyright a metaphor? that one is SOLID.) And I can only note the interesting bit of the situation for me: what dissatisfaction at Google led her to join the competition? WAY more interesting than “DID YOU KNOW SHE HAS A BABY FACTORY IN HER TUMMY?”

OneJillian
3 years 10 months ago

dang. I tried to pay extra attention to the desert/dessert situation – still failed!

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @OneJillian It was still a very funny metaphor!
 
And you’re right, the stories should be about what Google does now and whether or not she can right the Yahoo ship. 

OneJillian
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich For me, it’s both expected and sad to know that a woman on a fast career track is still something to study like a lab rat. what if we poke her …….here? how will………OFFSPRING effect her trajectory?

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @OneJillian And how will… TRAVELING effect her trajectory? And OMG… will her hair still look bob-y and shiny after a 14 hour day?

JoshPGreenberg
3 years 10 months ago

If we were to take even a step further back it’s quite telling that the biggest news to come out of Yahoo! in the past few years is mostly related to their CEO turnover. 
 
If this is indeed a “glass cliff” scenario then it would just be another large dent in a ship that’s already treading water at best.
 
P.S. She’s blonde so at least she’ll be fun AMIRITE!?!?!
/kills self

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @JoshPGreenberg Bwahahahahah! LOL! You kill me, too.
 
Yeah…five leaders in five years. THAT is a story.

bradmarley
3 years 10 months ago
Let me begin by saying that I think this is a great hire for Yahoo! Not only does she seem like CEO material (from afar) but it puts Yahoo! back in the conversation with Google and Microsoft. And isn’t that a tiny part of the reason why they hired her?   But we are having this conversation because people are very curious as to how she’s going to juggle running a company with having a newborn at home.   Then she says this: “My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I’ll work throughout it.”   Moms everywhere… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @bradmarley I get all of that. And I know how hard it is to have a newborn at home and even think about working (not to mention the emotion because your hormones are out of whack). But that’s not the conversation we should be having. What she does on maternity leave and with her baby is up to her. Not us.

bradmarley
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich You are absolutely right. We shouldn’t care about what she does on maternity leave, but Yahoo is a public company. Anything she says or does about her maternity leave will (unfortunately) be closely monitored by investors and, to a lesser extent, the public. It’s just an unfortunate by-product of the world we live in.
 
(Plus, moms get really fired up and judgmental about how other moms are going to raise their child. Don’t discount that aspect.)

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @bradmarley Very, very true.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 10 months ago

 @bradmarley  @ginidietrich Oh, I can hear the ‘super moms’ out there sharpening their knives as we *speak*!! I sit more in the “darling, go get mommy another beer” camp of parenting! lol 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @belllindsay “can you light my cigarette?”

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich Jeeze, I don’t go *that* far! LOL 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @belllindsay Riiiiight.

rustyspeidel
rustyspeidel
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich But the supermoms can sometimes end up raising a lot of entitled, whiny kids. I think a healthy career enhances kids’ respect for their parents and teaches them to deal with many things on their own. By healthy I mean you’re home enough that your kids trust that you’re there for them and you know each other. 

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 10 months ago

 @rustyspeidel  @ginidietrich And they can get your beer for you.

bradmarley
3 years 10 months ago

 @rustyspeidel  @ginidietrich Sometimes? I kid. Sort of.
 
The supermoms who have raised five kids without the help of their husband who works 80 hours a week want other moms to fail to justify their sacrifice. That’s why they’re watching Mayer closely. They think there is no way she can be a CEO and raise a kid.
 
At least, that’s what I think.

ShellyKramer
ShellyKramer
3 years 10 months ago

I just said this 🙂 Agree.

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @ShellyKramer The glass cliff I got from you…I got all fired up when I read your blog post and then I read another “Dear Ms. Mayer” letter and lost it.

DonovanGroupInc
DonovanGroupInc
3 years 10 months ago

Okay call me simple here but seriously has it been that slow a news cycle that we need to put Marissa Mayer under the microscope to the extent that some have since the announcement?  I believe that one should be given a chance to prove what they can do and let the results speak for themselves.  With that – best of luck Ms. Mayer – win, lose or draw without even having your name on your office door yet the Yahoo brand is back in play.

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @DonovanGroupInc Kind of like you’re innocent until proven guilty? Yeah.

DonovanGroupInc
DonovanGroupInc
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich Exactly – in a way I think it genius whether they had planned this or not – since isn’t one of the goals in any type of “announcement” here to get people talking? 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @DonovanGroupInc I guess so…I’d just rather the conversation be constructive.

sydcon_mktg
3 years 10 months ago

UGH!!! I didnt know about “glass cliff”, and your right, it made me angry!! Seriously is 2012 the year of tearing women down & stripping away their rights??
 
Maybe the talks should be about the CEO’s before her who faltered. When will we finally look strictly at qualifications and credentials without seeing the gender or race tied to it?

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @sydcon_mktg Doesn’t it feel that way? It’s prevalent in the Presidential wars, in the media, and now with the leaders of the world’s largest companies. 

keithprivette
3 years 10 months ago
When I saw the email in my inbox. I was hoping to see @ginidietrich as the author! Yes Yes Yes thank you Gini!  I do not recall any of these type questions coming out when Ron Johnson took over JCP? “Hey Ron your the new CEO of JCP and your wife is pregnant are you sure you are up to taking on this challenge” THAT WOULD NOT BE ASKED! Now if he was pregnant…ooops I digress.   Now it is ok to ask the tough questions of her. How are you going to stop the talent flood? How are you going to… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @keithprivette I wasn’t going to write about it, but I got so angry last night, the blog post just came out of my fingers. And then I wasn’t going to publish, but I was still mad about it this morning. So here we are.
 
But in better news…HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

ladylaff
ladylaff
3 years 10 months ago

SING IT SISTER!  I couldn’t agree more!

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @ladylaff Thank you!

IamDez
IamDez
3 years 10 months ago

Well damn… apparently I have the wrong thought patterns. My first thought when I heard the news was “She deserves it” and “Finally… somebody that might be able to bring Yahoo back to not-stupid” Guess I should have been thinking “What is her husband going to think”… wouldn’t want to stray from `typical` thinking more than I already do.

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @IamDez Dang. You’re waaaaaay too progressive. You need to dial it back.

IamDez
IamDez
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich obviously… the “She’s from Wisconsin” part of my brain really should have kicked in MUCH sooner.

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @IamDez LMAO!!

wabbitoid
3 years 10 months ago

I think you’re right on here.  For years, Yahoo! has been were good apps go to die.  Turning around the mess at Yahoo! is one Hell of a story on its own and anyone who isn’t writing this that way is one seriously off the mark.  Sexism is all over this story as it’s being told and it really does make me sick.
 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @wabbitoid It’s really, really bad, isn’t it?

wabbitoid
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich I haven’t seen sexism this bad since … well, we’ve talked about reproductive health as an employer option lately …. yeah, this crap is absolutely endemic.  It’s like we entered a time-warp in here somehow and we’re back in the 1950s (or worse).

magriebler
magriebler
3 years 10 months ago

On Wednesday, when I feared for my blood pressure and my sanity, I stopped reading all those bat**** crazy articles. (Yours is the exception, @ginidietrich, because you have read my mind and of course I agree with you 1000%.) I wish Marissa Mayer what I wish anyone in this life:  Success as she defines it.
 
Tomorrow, can you write a post about what we can do to combat this offensive nonsense, mentor young people, support each other and dream together about a better world? (Cue sappy music; thank you.)

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @magriebler I’ll have to write it next week…tomorrow is my fun blogging day where I do goofy things instead of getting on my soapbox about how crazy people are talking about this stuff in 2012.

annedreshfield
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich I can’t wait to read it! Go Gini go! 🙂

rachaelseda
3 years 10 months ago
THANK YOU! I was so annoyed when everyone kept having to add in that she’s pregnant. SO WHAT. Why does that have to be mentioned?! Why does it matter in regards to her becoming the new Yahoo CEO. Please tell me….I felt like people had to add that in to imply that Yahoo was making a mistake or that she definitely wouldn’t be able to handle it. You know what good for Yahoo for just finding the person they thought was smart enough and experienced enough for the position. What makes me more sick is that other women writing posts… Read more »
Shonali
3 years 10 months ago

 @rachaelseda Me too! @ginidietrich thank you.

ifdyperez
ifdyperez
3 years 10 months ago

 @Shonali @rachaelseda @ginidietrich It makes me think these writers are having a little trouble finding real news to talk about, and want to start a “controversial” discussion.
 
If she can juggle babies with one hand while she revamps the Yahoo! corporate strategy blindfolded, standing on burning coal, and singing the national anthem backwards, then THAT should be in the news. Otherwise, cheers to the chick who’s gonna kick some ass in corporate America.
 
 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @ifdyperez  @Shonali  @rachaelseda I don’t know if they are trying to create controversy, if they’re concerned by the idea that she said she’s only going to take a few weeks off, or if things really haven’t changed as much as we think they have, but this conversation about her naïveté and her “go” bag is ridiculous. 

JuliPeterson
3 years 10 months ago

She’s pregnant. Not suddenly brain dead or less capable to do her job. Plenty of women have families and jobs.

magriebler
magriebler
3 years 10 months ago

 @JuliPeterson Yes! And, unlike many working women, she has the money to pay for help … lots of it. The parents I worry about are the ones without a safety net, who face a crisis when the baby is sick and can’t be brought to daycare and neither one of them can afford to take time off.

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @JuliPeterson OMG! Really?! That’s what I want to say to these people writing these articles. Come on, people. Having a baby doesn’t make you brain dead.

hackmanj
3 years 10 months ago

Agreed! Jeez, can’t we just be excited that someone with a track record is taking over at Yahoo? They need help and here is that ‘second chance”.

PhilipNowak
3 years 10 months ago
Unfortunately, it looks like the business world and media have not evolved their thinking yet with high profile hires who are women. The good and bad part is that all eyes are on Marissa. If she fails to turn Yahoo around within the next 3-5 years, the stereotype of a woman not being able to hold a high-level position while starting a family will continue to persist. If she succeeds, she’ll be viewed as the woman who single-handedly pioneered the notion that a woman can be a high-level leader during early motherhood.It doesn’t help when you hear mothers being quoted… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @PhilipNowak It’s a total load of BS and no one should judge another on how they choose to raise their children. Staying home with your child 24/7 doesn’t do anyone good – you or the child.

richmeyer
richmeyer
3 years 10 months ago
I know and have worked with several people at Yahoo and right now they need a major shot of moral because they feel their company is a rudderless ship in a storm.  Especially troubling is the call to “fire” more people right off the bat but even more troubling to me is that Ms Mayer is a geek and has had “management” issues.   According to several Google insiders she has her own publicist and HR people and has an ego the size of the the state of Texas.  This is NOT the type of person that Yahoo needs right… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @richmeyer I really hope this isn’t true…I hate the notion that any PR is good PR.

rustyspeidel
rustyspeidel
3 years 10 months ago
The Steve Berglas post was annoying, arrogant, and condescending. So was the “glass cliff” BS. That helps!   I say ignore those idiots and focus on the fact  that Yahoo! needs to be completely transformed. The era of the late 90s web portal is long over, but they keep hanging on like it’s coming back around. I don’t care where she works, or how many kids she has, or whether she worked at Google. Does she have the vision to completely re-orient Yahoo! around the mobile, social, cloud-based future of computing? Can she impart it to the current employees and… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @rustyspeidel Amen.

Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing

I kinda said something similar in a recent post about these lists “Top 10 Women To Watch” or whatever that seem to pop up frequently in Ad Age, Fast Company and Inc. While these Fortune women who work at huge organizations with huger budgets to accomplish hugest and noteworthy things globally are laudable; there are so many, many small fry doing many, many, many also laudable things on scale.  And, we’re raising our children while doing so. Sigh.

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing And giving back to our communities and mentoring young professionals and participating in our industries and writing books and completing races…and being whole people that don’t work 24/7.

TheJackB
3 years 10 months ago

The harshest criticism I have read has all come from other women. I really don’t understand why the focus is on her gender and not experience/skills.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 10 months ago

 @TheJackB Present company excepted, I will say that women are the *worst* at taking down other women. Sad. But true. 

RebeccaTodd
3 years 10 months ago

 @belllindsay  @TheJackB I was just about to say the same, Lindsay.  So sad. 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @RebeccaTodd  @belllindsay  I can’t wait til next week when I see the two of you and can talk about you behind your backs!

RebeccaTodd
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich  @belllindsay Did you SEE what she was WEARING?!?

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 10 months ago

 @RebeccaTodd  @ginidietrich HAHAHA! “Ew, she *smokes*!!” 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @belllindsay  I can’t make fun of you for smoking. I already do that to your face. @RebeccaTodd 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @TheJackB Oh there’s been some bad stuff by men, too. But I do agree women are our own worst enemies.

rwohlner
3 years 10 months ago
Gini good post as always.  As I said on Facebook Ms. Mayer should be judged ONLY on what she can do to position Yahoo for the future and on the impact she has on the price of the stock, mostly the latter.  Her job as CEO of a public company is to deliver value and return to her shareholders, everything else is secondary.  This to me is gender, race, and sexual orientation neutral and would be the same standard I would judge any CEO by.  As the father of two fantastic daughters who will ultimately make an impact in whatever… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @rwohlner That’s exactly how I feel about it, Roger. Can you imagine if one of your daughters had this position and this is the crap you were reading about her? It’s just wrong.

jenelleconner
jenelleconner
3 years 10 months ago

Thank you! 

jenelleconner
jenelleconner
3 years 10 months ago

Thank you! This has been driving me crazy! As always @ginidietrich , you are the voice of reason. 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @jenelleconner Here too?!? Thank you!

ExtremelyAvg
3 years 10 months ago
To be honest, I haven’t been bothered by any of the stories. In fact, I haven’t read a single one. I’m not really sure Yahoo even exists anymore. I remember using it once, at the turn of the century, but since then, I’m pretty sure they’ve closed their doors.   Are you sure this woman is real? I mean, who would leave Google to go take over a company that has been out of business for 10 years? I think it is all pretend.   Maybe she could also run Bing and MySpace, since I’m pretty sure they don’t exist… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @ExtremelyAvg HAHAHAHAAHAH!!! This, literally, made me laugh out loud. Hilarious!

bhas
3 years 10 months ago
 @ExtremelyAvg The story’s that Marissa Mayer has plateaued at Google. She was employee #20, and despite being the head of search and design have been steadily pushed to the background. Right now, she is a VP and does not even have a place in Google’s leadership homepage. There are about 10 SVPs over her and many of them have joined Google later   So this writer at All Things Digital says that for someone as ambitious and driven as MM, the Yahoo gig is the best thing to happen. She gets a place in the C-suite, she gets a challenging… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @bhas  @ExtremelyAvg I think it’s a smart move, too. And I wish her the best of luck. I hope she’s really good at it. THAT’S what the story should be about…not this crap about gender and motherhood.

ExtremelyAvg
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich  @bhas I agree, I think it would be cool if Yahoo came back to life. If I were here, I’d put out a press release mentioning the fact that, apparently, they ARE still in business, and if people feel like waxing nostalgic about the days of dial-up, they should stop in to see what’s new.

annedreshfield
3 years 10 months ago

I’m bowing down to you in the Livefyre office, Gini. I was just  reading Berglas’ article yesterday and had to stop myself from screaming (and I couldn’t even finish the stupid article). It’s incredible that this is going on. I hope Mayer has some industrial strength earplugs to tune out all of this, for lack of a better word, crap. /rant 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @annedreshfield I wonder if her “people” are protecting her from some of this stuff? I know if I were on her team, I’d be making sure she saw the ones that were helpful and then I’d give her a summary of the tabloid-y ones. And hope she doesn’t go home at night and Google herself.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich  @annedreshfield Umm…don’t you mean Yahoo herself? Heh. 

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @RebeccaTodd  @annedreshfield LMAO!!!!!!!

CloseToHomeMD
CloseToHomeMD
3 years 10 months ago
So, is the moral to the story that we work our butts off to break through the “glass ceiling” only to find ourselves on a “glass cliff”? I may just have to go jump off a real cliff. Oh no, that would give “them” too much credibility. Thanks so much for introducing me to a new term I had not heard yet in relation to the multiple ways our society attempts to sabotage the gains women have made over the years.   Just one note to contradict the “glass cliff” theory (or does it support it?): a number of years… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @CloseToHomeMD It’s kind of like what we experience as a boutique PR firm. No one ever got fired for hiring a big, global PR firm with a big, branded name (even if they do crap work and don’t get results). But if you hire a boutique firm and they do crap work and don’t get results, they lose … and you lose.

CloseToHomeMD
CloseToHomeMD
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich So as a boutique PR firm you have to be perfect, and get results I guess  😉

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @CloseToHomeMD And convince them to take the risk!

mlaffs
mlaffs
3 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich it is news, and for those familiar with her story, this is the interesting bit, i guess?

mlaffs
mlaffs
3 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich especially since there’s a lot of silicon valley burnout over the usual suspects playing musical chairs

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

@mlaffs The news is that Google is losing a top exec to Yahoo. THAT’S news. The fact that she’s a women and young and pregnant is not.

Opelova
Opelova
3 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich completely agree with you on that. media in the Czech Republic are even worse saying yahoo must be nuts to hire her 😐

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

@Opelova Are they really??

Opelova
Opelova
3 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich unfortunately, yes. When I was reading an article about it I got the impression that pregnancy is an incurable brain disease.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

@Opelova There was one blogger who described pregnancy as a short-time illness with long-term effects.

Opelova
Opelova
3 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich Oh my, it’s like Middle Ages all over again. 🙁 Or somebody is just trying to be “interesting” in a totally wrong way.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

@Opelova It’s painful.

Opelova
Opelova
3 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich Well, I guess the best thing I can do is to try to be the change I want to see in the world. 🙂

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

@Opelova Exactly!

mediachick76
mediachick76
3 years 10 months ago
I’m noticing there are 2 camps of women. The camp that sees this as a non-issue and the camp that is glad this is an issue (because it gives them an opportunity to pursue the discussion of equal treatment from companies despite the “short term disability” of being pregnant).    Personally, having a 10 month old and a career I can say I am very, very tired much of the time right now. And my career won’t such up as much time as Marissa’s will, so in my eyes, she’s a super hero. Somebody give her a cape. I don’t… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @mediachick76 There are two camps; you’re right. A friend of mine said on FB that I missed the “glad it’s an issue” point of all of this. Maybe I did. But I wasn’t fired up about that. I’m fired up that people – journalists and scholars – are giving her advice when a) they don’t know her, b) have never worked with her, c) have never run a company, and d) ARE MAKING IT A GENDER ISSUE!! That’s why I’m fired up. 🙂

karlgibson
karlgibson
3 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich Any time a minority (gender/race) lands a prominent gig, the pontification arcs can get greasy & stupid. More power to her!

karlgibson
karlgibson
3 years 10 months ago

@karlgibson @ginidietrich I agree with you 100%. Her pregnancy as front page news in newspapers is archaic, but editors think it’s Topic A?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

@karlgibson More power to her is right!

PhilanthropyInk
PhilanthropyInk
3 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich Woah. Had not heard the term “glass cliff” before. Ouch.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

@PhilanthropyInk Right?

John_Murphy
3 years 10 months ago

 @ginidietrich I think it is really sad that in 2012 this keeps coming up. As someone who spent a long time in corporate life I can tell you that there are many men, and some women!, who think that a woman who pursues a career is an oddity and something to be commented on. These are the same people who start sentences with “I’m not a racist but…..”, or “I’m not homophobic but….” These people are to be avoided at all costs, and let’s not give them airtime!

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @John_Murphy Oh trust me…there are plenty of people in my life who think the fact that I am building a business is a shame and they look down their noses at me when they’re at home on a Saturday night and I’m out enjoying the city with Mr. D. There are some nights I wish I were them and I’m sure the opposite, but I don’t begrudge them for choosing a different path than me.

wabbitoid
3 years 10 months ago

 @John_Murphy  Yes, starting with “I’m not _____” is a passive way of saying “I am _____ but too cowardly to be open about it, even as it clearly defines my speech and choice of topics.”  It’s a sign of very weak character, IMHO.

shonali
shonali
3 years 10 months ago

@kreebeau I know! @GiniDietrich

Hajra
3 years 10 months ago

I agree. We really shouldn’t be bothered how many weeks she might take off because of her baby or how she chooses to raise her baby with such a huge job to take care of…. so irrelevant, as long as she gets her work done all right and takes Yahoo to a better place, I wouldn’t be bothered if she brings her baby to work…. that would be fun though… Hmmmm…

ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @Hajra  And then she’d get slaughtered for allowing babies at work. The shame!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

@chicagocomms Thank you!

wabbitoid
3 years 10 months ago
I’ve been thinking about this a bit, and I’m still pretty pissed off about how sexist most of the coverage of Mayer’s appointment has been.  But when I think about how I would write this story on my own terms, I think the pregnancy is pretty important – it would seem odd to NOT mention it, since it is a first.   So how would *I* handle this?  First of all, if she were a man I would mention having a young and/or growing family – but only in passing.  And in this case, I think it deserves just a… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

 @wabbitoid I agree…and like @mediachick76 said, there are two camps to this. You just explored the second camp. I do think having a baby while running a company is a conversation to be had and it’s something that hasn’t happened at that level before now. But what gets under my skin is how journalists and scholars are giving her advice based on her gender and motherhood and not on her record. 

AdamSinger
AdamSinger
3 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich when are we hanging out again for drinks? Another date with you and @conversationage is overdue 🙂

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 10 months ago

@AdamSinger Come to Chicago! @conversationage

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