I was driving back from Lake Tahoe this afternoon in my rental car. Which meant a lot time to scan through radio stations to kill time. Somewhere before Sacramento I hit 810 AM, where they were talking about Marissa Mayer’s pregnancy, so I listened for a while.
The host was Tim Montemayor. He was taking a lot of calls from what sounded like older women. A lot of the comments were along the lines of “I’m sure she’s wonderful but it’s not fair because people who invested in that company are going to lose their life savings” and “she’s not fit to be a parent.”
In other words, these weren’t our country’s best and brightest citizens. The host was riling them up and HE seemed quite convinced that Marissa would probably simultaneously ruin Yahoo and neglect her child.
“I feel bad for this generation, too much is expected from women,” said one caller.
There was also, and I’m not kidding, some discussion of how hormones will affect her ability to cope with the stress of being a CEO.
Where’s the outrage? Where are the women in tech screaming for people to stop talking about a woman’s pregnancy as if it were somehow anyone’s business, or whether a pregnant woman/young mother is capable of leading a company?
For some reason Mayer doesn’t seem to generate that kind of passionate defense response from the self selected leaders of the women in tech movement.
I’ve talked before about how important role models are for more women to reach positions of power and influence in tech.
This whole situation is just a nicely wrapped gift to the whole community, something to truly inspire more women to get into tech and entrepreneurship.
But from what I’m seeing there’s a lot more tearing her down (including from women) than celebrating the whole situation.
Why is that?