Marissa Mayer was named CEO of Yahoo. That’s exciting news. There are only a handful of female CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies today. The chatter in and outside the business world is not only that a woman was hired, but that they hired a young woman (she’s 37 and curiously, there has been little mention of the age of the “kids” who lead other technology firms—think Facebook) and a pregnant woman to boot. And why wouldn’t they hire Marissa Mayer? She’s bright, highly educated, successful, and was a superstar at Google.
But before you start thinking that the glass ceiling is finally broken, we also now learn that woman are lagging far behind men in getting new jobs in this so called post recession period. Since June 2009, men have landed 80% of the 2.6 million net jobs created in the U.S., including 61% this last year. The juxtaposition of these two headlines, Mayer’s hiring while women in general fall behind, gives us pause.
Marissa Mayer’s hiring is reason to celebrate. It is a significant personal and professional accomplishment for her and a major step for professional women. But the unevenness of our economic recovery points to the fact that a lot more work needs to be done before we can actually reach economic parity.