If you want to see markers of female empowerment, just look at two of the tech industry’s biggest stars. Marissa Mayer signed on as CEO of Yahoo while pregnant. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, is casting herself as a latter-day Betty Friedan with her forthcoming book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, but whether either executive is setting a standard most working women would like is very much in doubt.
Sandberg wants to encourage working women, especially mothers, to stand up for themselves in the workplace and take seats at the leadership table. She says they need to stop making excuses and recognize that they have to make tradeoffs between work and family just as men do.
Mayer, who boasted “I only need two weeks of maternity leave,” is doing just that. In an internalpersonnel memo, obtained by journalist Kara Swisher, the company has decreed that flex time is out, face time is in and good luck finding someone who can deal with the kids when there is a half day or when your sick child needs care.