You blew it.
I understand you are running a large tech company with shareholders and a board. All eyes are watching to see if you can breathe new life into Yahoo. And of course being one of the few women to lead a Fortune 500 company, the pressure is intense.
Yet, if you look beyond the Yahoo brand (which isn’t so hot right now), there is something greater at stake – your own personal brand.
What do you stand for? What do you want your legacy to be?
At this moment in time, your brand appears to be antiquated and rigid.
Why would a tech company that aspires to be viewed as progressive and innovative strip every employee of the possibility of working from home? Why not re-evaluate the policy and address the issues where individuals are slacking off? This doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” call. Working from home does not make sense for every person or every role, but it can make sense for some.
As a person who is able to work from home once or twice week, I can tell you this privilege is a huge motivator. I work extra hard to show I can deliver, and I am flexible to meet the needs of my peers and business.
You cite the need for more collaboration to create and build teamwork. Well, technology enables me to collaborate in ways I never imagined. I can view presentations from my laptop as they are being delivered. I handle conference calls with ease. And I get a lot of work done. There are times I need to “hole up” and just pound out copy and strategy papers and briefs. With my telework option, I am able to do this and more.
Months ago, you had your first baby and took two weeks of maternity leave. Some may applaud your grit and determination. I feel sorry for you. You’ll never get those sweet months back. Yes, you have an on-site nursery, but your mind was likely back to business. Your schedule became hectic. You missed the moments of just being present for your baby. You missed life.
I’m a working mom, and I work very hard. I wish I had more role models of women who have risen through the ranks to lead differently. I had high hopes for you, and perhaps you’ll change my mind in the future. But today I do not see you as a role model in business. I do not see you as a role model for working moms. I do not see you as someone who will transform the way we work and encourage people to innovate.
There is always time to change. So I leave you again with these questions, “Who is Marissa Mayer? What will your legacy be?”
You live and die by your personal brand. What is yours?