Marissa Mayer has blazed trails in Silicon Valley — as Google’s first female engineer, as one of its most prominent executives when she oversaw its search business, and as a serious technologist who was also willing to show her feminine side.
Now she will blaze a new trail, as a pregnant woman taking the helm of a major public company.
On Monday, the same day she became Yahoo’s chief executive, Ms. Mayer wrote on Twitter that she and her husband, Zachary Bogue, a financier, are expecting a boy, their first child, on Oct. 7.
Part of the reason that Ms. Mayer is an anomaly is her age, 37. Most executives reach the top level later in their careers, after their childbearing years. Just 20 companies in the Fortune 500 have women chief executives, and all but three of them, including Ms. Mayer, are over 50. Deanna M. Mulligan, chief of Guardian Life Insurance, is 48, and Heather Bresch, chief of Mylan, is 43.
梅耶尔与众不同的原因之一是她的年龄。她今年37岁。大多数高管都是在孩子出生后很多年才进入事业顶峰。在《财富》世界500强公司中，只有20家公司的首席执政官是女性，而且她们当中包括梅耶尔在内只有三人年龄小于50岁。守护者人寿保险公司(Guardian Life Insurance)的迪安娜·M.·马利根(Deanna M. Mulligan)，今年48岁，迈兰(Mylan)公司的希瑟·布雷施(Heather Bresch)，今年43岁。
Some people who study women in business were reluctant to discuss Ms. Mayer’s pregnancy, saying that it was irrelevant to her ability to run Yahoo and that the children of male chief executives were not news.
“Many of the women C.E.O.’s of major corporations like Yahoo have children, and pregnancy is a short period in one’s life,” said Toby Stuart, director of the entrepreneurship center at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, who has studied gender in the tech business. “Among career-oriented professional women, relatively late pregnancies are common.”
“很多像雅虎这样的大公司的女性首席执行官都有孩子，而且怀孕只不过是一个人生命中很短的一段时间，”加州大学伯克利分校哈斯商学院创业学中心主任托比·斯图尔特(Toby Stuart) 说。 他一直从事技术公司的性别研究。“以事业为重的职业女性，怀孕通常相对较晚。”
But others said that by taking a powerful job while she was expecting a baby, Ms. Mayer was a role model for working women.
“We finally have reached a point where a woman could be pregnant and stepping into that kind of big job,” said Sharon Vosmek, chief executive of Astia, a nonprofit group that advises female entrepreneurs. “Her age makes it exciting, not just because she’s quite youthful but because she’s also in this prime stage of life when so many women feel they have to step out or step back.”
“我们终于到了这样一个阶段：女性在怀孕期间依然可以接受如此重要的工作，”一家给女性企业家提供咨询服务的非营利性机构Astia的总裁莎伦·沃斯迈克 (Sharon Vosmek)说。“这件事很令人兴奋是因为她的年龄，并不是因为她还年轻，而是因为在她的这个黄金阶段，很多女性都感到她们不得不退出或者倒退。”
Another female tech industry executive, Sheryl Sandberg, 42, Facebook’s chief operating officer, also often talks about how she balances work and family.
Ms. Mayer, who faces a big challenge in turning around the struggling Yahoo, plans to take just a few weeks of maternity leave and to work while she is out, she told Fortune, which first reported her pregnancy.
Members of Yahoo’s board “showed their evolved thinking” by hiring her in the final months of her pregnancy, she said in the Fortune interview.
Silicon Valley, your track record on women isn’t great. This is an opportunity.