Marissa Mayer Becomes First Ever Pregnant CEO Of Fortune 500 Company


Written by Annie-Rose Strasser

Yesterday afternoon, Yahoo named Marissa Mayer as their new chief executive officer. And shortly after the news broke, Mayer announced she was expecting a baby boy in October. This makes Mayer the first-ever pregnant CEO of a Fortune 500 company. That’s on top of being one of only 19 female CEOs in the Fortune 500.

Board members at Yahoo were aware that Mayer was expecting during the hiring process, and treated her pregnancy with a respect and deference very few women get to enjoy in the workplace. According to Mashable, an anonymous source said, “It was not part of the consideration. …Like every other professional woman, she has to weigh all the factors in doing her job and having a family”:

Mayer also expressed that she was pleased the Yahoo board was not concerned, telling Fortune their actions “showed their evolved thinking.”

And as far as maternity leave goes, don’t expect Mayer to be out of the office for long. The new CEO plans to return to the office after a few short weeks and will be working throughout her time off. Yahoo’s scheduled September board meeting will be in Sunnyvale, Calif., rather than New York, to accommodate for the expecting mother-to-be.

For most women, being pregnant can be a major ordeal, and many workplaces are not so accommodating. Though her maternity leave may be just “a few short weeks” after giving birth, the U.S. is one of the only nations that does not require any paid maternity leave.

In fact, just this week, RH Reality Check reported that the Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act was dead on arrival in Congress. That bill that would have protected pregnant women from discrimination at work and required employers to make accommodations for mothers-to-be, including allowing them to have a bottle of water or a stool to sit on at work.

Her role as Yahoo’s CEO makes Mayer one of the most prominent women in business and tech. That should give her and her company a platform to lead by example on pregnant workers’ rights.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.


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Pregnancy Discrimination Claims on the Rise


Photo: Giorgio Montesino/flickr


Marilyn L.
Marilyn L5 years ago

As in the case of Ms. Mayer many salary employees (generally those in management and executive position) work at home when they are not 'on the clock', ie, vacation, holidays, maternity leaves, death in families and even sickness. I know first hand, been there done that. If a non-exempt employee (hourly paid employee) where to be off work for any reason they could not work at home, there are laws in every state that are different, but in most this would be a fair statement.

I wish her well.

Cathy C.
Cathy C5 years ago

they should be expecting a great job from her. pregnancy hormones always made me happy and energetic.

Julia W.
Julia W5 years ago

I wish her well.

Ursula Larrabee
Ursula Larrabee5 years ago

This is just great news. Hopefully the US will get "better" in taking care of pregnant women in the workplace and otherwise. Look for examples in European countries. It can be done!

Marg Wood
Marg W5 years ago

This should have happened a long time ago!

Troy G.
Troy Grant5 years ago

How nice. A woman's touch can hopefully change the old, white male conservative culture that permeates corrupt corporate society.

Chris Cole
Chris C5 years ago

Good job Marissa - this could REALLY be the start of something big for women's rights.

Victoria F - nothing on your profile to tell us who you really are. This article is neither the time nor the place to air your BS. Trying to throw a wrench in this good news! What's your beef? Give us a break! Did you even read the whole article? I quote: "Her role as Yahoo’s CEO makes Mayer one of the most prominent women in business and tech. That should give her and her company a platform to lead by example on pregnant workers’ rights." I repeat - a platform to lead by example on pregnant workers' rights - which are pretty nonexistent here. DUH!!!!!!!

Deborah F.
Deborah F5 years ago

Great news for her on all fronts.

Jennie R.
Jennie D5 years ago

Go Marissa!

William Seuffert
William Seuffert5 years ago

Good for her and it is nice to see that her pregnancy doesn't prevent a woman from doing their job! I hope others follow in her footsteps and more companies follow in Yahoo's example!!