When Yahoo’s board selected Marissa Mayer to be CEO last summer, she was already several months pregnant.
And, in late September, when she had her first child, she only took a couple weeks off for maternity leave.
Then, in November, she told a conference for professional women: “The baby’s been easy.”
“The baby’s been way easier than everyone made it out to be. I think I’ve been really lucky that way but I had a very easy, healthy pregnancy, he’s been easy.”
She is not expecting other Yahoo employees to follow her lead, or have it so easy.
According to NBC Bay Area’s Jon Schuppe, Mayer just double the amount of paid leave Yahoo will give mothers after the birth of a child from 8 weeks to 16 weeks. Fathers of newborns will get 8 weeks paid leave.
This change puts Yahoo into near parity with Google and Facebook. Google gives mothers five months off and fathers seven weeks off. Facebook gives both mothers and fathers four months of paid leave.
Earlier this spring, Mayer banned Yahoo employees from working from home. She said that Yahoo needed people in the office in order to be more collaborative.
While most Yahoo employees seemed to support the decision, many critics outside the company – and a few, inside, – said Mayer’s ban made life harder for Yahoo’s working mothers.
At least one employee griped that it was unfair that Mayer, a new mother herself, was able to bring her child to work and stick him in a nursery she built in her office at her own expense.
“I wonder what would happen if my wife brought our kids and nanny to work and set em up in the cube next door?,” the husband of one remote-working Yahoo employee asked.
Mayer has focused a lot on improving Yahoo’s culture by bringing its perks up to Silicon Valley standards. Yahoo now serves free food. Employees all got new iPhones, Android phones, or Windows Phones.