A new CEO in town

Marissa Mayer is a 37 year old mom-to-be.

Oh and she was also just named the new President & CEO of Yahoo!.

This article by Anne-Marie Slaughter has sparked quite the debate about a woman’s ability to truly “have it all” in the 21st century, and if such a thing exists in the first place. In light of this on going discussion and the recent announcement made my Yahoo!, we thought we’d provide a quick round up of some food for thought:

On the book How to Be a Woman: Emma Brockes, writer for The Guardian, provides a review of British author Caitlin Moran’s biting, witty diatribe against the misconceptions and misrepresentations of the all too loaded word, feminism. Brockes’ assessment? Even if the language used is a bit excessive, this book is a fresh look at a topic that has long been overdue for a public perception makeover.

On strong career moves: Even though Yahoo! may be struggling to win popularity contests these days, new CEO Marissa Mayer doesn’t appear to be in the same boat, though she is now tasked with turning things around for the media titan.

On a new kind of network: Marissa Mayer’s appointment isn’t just an opportunity for Yahoo! to grow–but an opportunity for a successful woman to support and focus on other women–at least that’s what David McClure suggests in his open letter to the new CEO. Besides the social implications, McClure argues that this makes sense from an economic perspective. Imagine what Yahoo! could do if it became the premier women-focused company in the industry–that’s 50% of the consumer population.

On advice: apparently there’s a new guide in town–or at least an updated one. If you want a mix of the practical, the useless, and the utterly hilarious, check out Glamour Magazine’s updated version of “30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30,” a list that first hit newsstands in 1997.

And finally, a fresh perspectiveCheck out this response to the “having it all” debate by Julie Zeilinger, an undergrad at Barnard College. “The recent debate over “having it all” underscores the pressure women put themselves under to perfectly excel in all conceivable areas of our lives.” The gist of Zeilinger’s argument is that women can’t be expected to aspire to leadership when society makes it seem unattainable. On the one hand, I agree with her. Yes, there is a double standard between men and women, but on the other, is there anything wrong with having high standards? If we want to be successful, we need to aim high.

I think Forbes Contributor Kristi Hedges sums it up best when she says:

personally, I stand in awe of a 37-year old, 6-month pregnant woman who becomes the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Not because she’s the first this, or the youngest that. But because her vision of her own potential is big, bold, and rocks convention.

Mayer’s appointment has us talking, and more importantly, questioning what’s possible.

Just some food for thought to start up your week–Happy Monday!


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