How hard is it to tell your boss you're pregnant?
So, Yahoo! has appointed a new CEO, pinched from Google. Marissa Mayer is 37 years old. She's on $1m salary. Oh, and she's seven months' pregnant. This, to me, was the best part.
You see, when I told my first boss (female) that I was pregnant, her reaction was completely lovely. "Congratulations! Yay! But be sure to write up a handover document before you go..." And that was how I thought it would always go.
With my second boss (male), however, the reaction was a little different. "You're fucking joking..." to be precise. Imagine the reaction when I told him I was having a third.
According to Mayer, her maternity leave will be "a few weeks long and I'll work throughout it". That's her choice, so go her (although clearly no-one has thought to tell her that the first few weeks' joy is equaled only by lack of sleep and rational thought).
I took six months off with my first, with much shorter maternity leaves for my second and third babies. By then, I was able to work from home more, so this was not as tough had I been traveling to an office everyday.
But, still, it seems to me that so many of us dread telling employers about a pregnancy and I wonder if that is because many of us are telling male superiors and not women. Obviously I have only got my own experience to go on, but the empathy shown first time round was, I suspect, because she had at one time been in my shoes. And I've heard lots of stories from friends who didn't have great support understanding the system and worryingly, found roles morphed into something different by the time they returned to work. But that's a whole other post.
Back to Marissa Mayer. I think that a public appointment of someone who is seven months pregnant sends all sorts of good messages to the world. She's pregnant, not incapable.
Having said that, I don't have to worry about being in this situation anymore because for one thing I'm not planning on having any more babies. All done here, nothing to see, move along now. Also, I now have a new boss. Me. So perhaps my reaction would be "You're fucking joking..." after all?