Friday, July 20, 2012

The New Superwoman

My son and I have been doing a "superman" pose in swimming lessons every morning.  He puts his hands above his head and pushes off from the steps into a superman glide...or a three-year-old's version of a superman glide.

Sometimes the teacher mentions doing a "superwoman glide," but not too consistently. 

Needless to say, I was blown away when I heard about a real superwoman, Marissa Mayer.  Not only is she the new CEO of Yahoo Inc., but she is only 37 years-old and is six months pregnant with her first child.  I was glancing over the Wall Street Journal when I saw an article, For Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Two New Roles, discussing her upcoming dual roles of CEO and mother.  

My jaw seriously dropped to the floor.  I couldn't process it all!  Not that I want to compare myself to her or make this about me, but reading the article made me realize what you can accomplish by such a young age and made me wonder about my list of accomplishments.  I'm about to turn 37 and I'm still serving as the Director General, Ministry of Home Affairs for the Ryan Jyoti Clan (although I used to write and do advance work for the former Chairman of Yahoo when he served on the board at my old think tank...but I digress).

My husband and I went back and forth about how challenging her dual roles will be.  Yahoo needs serious help and being a new Mom is pretty exhausting work.  Our discussion ended up focusing on what help money can buy you, and if money is enough to make the role of new mother "easy."  There are some things people feel comfortable paying others to do for them, and the more money you have, the longer the list grows.  Where do you draw the line?   

Is Mayer's compensation ($100 million over the next five years) enough to pay for every service a new parent would need?  My husband thinks yes; I think no.  Can you really off load ALL the responsibilities new parents face?  It is the outsourcing of parenthood.  I hope Yahoo gives her the support she will need to fulfill some of the more critical aspects of her upcoming role of mother.

I remember how I felt in the weeks and months after having my babies, and I tell ya, I could barely return congratulatory emails, let alone put on a suit and go kick corporate butt.  While Mayer may be confident she can handle it now, I wonder how her perception will change once she is in the thick of it.  There are things that happen to a woman's body, brain and heart after she has a baby, and no amount of "help" can change that.  While I admit I'm a total light weight, I wonder how many women can effectively work through their maternity leave without having a breakdown from the pressures involved?

Anyway, all the power to our newest version of superwoman.  I sincerely wish her and Yahoo all the best and hope she proves that you can have a new baby and be a successful CEO.  It would be an awesome first.   

No comments: