Is the Tech Industry Sexist?

Is the Tech Industry Sexist?Guest blogger Eric Hampton writes:

Technology may have a new boss, but this boss certainly isn’t new to technology. Former Google executive Marissa Mayer has been named the new CEO of Yahoo! — the struggling “premier digital media company,” as it calls itself.

Marissa Mayer was an honors student, earning a B.S. in symbolic systems and an M.S. in computer science from Stanford University. She was one of the original employees at Google, working in several senior roles in 13 years, and according to the Financial Post, was already worth $300 million before joining Yahoo!.

But for Mayer, it’s not just her qualifications that are being analyzed; it’s also the fact that she’s pregnant. Many question if this 37-year-old pregnant woman can lead such a large organization forward. Of course she will take a medical leave and return to her corporate responsibilities (with the approval of her physicians), but does this disqualify her from being capable of transitioning Yahoo! forward?

CNN contributor Roland Martin reminds us that the late Steve Jobs had to take a medical leave and, recently, so did CEOs from American Equity, Sourcefire, and Union Pacific.

We also understand that organizations need stability in leadership and decision-making. The presence of a CEO has greater impact when they are both seen and heard, especially in building and sustaining high-performance teams.

It goes without saying that having a child is a lot of work — particularly when having your first child. We understand it will demand long nights, early mornings, and everything that encompasses raising a family. Mayer being pregnant obviously wasn’t a deal breaker to the board of directors; therefore, it shouldn’t be a deal breaker to the tech community and corporate America.

We must consider that, perhaps due to the economy and strategic planning, women who are intuitive, passionate, and driven may opt to postpone starting a family right away in order to establish themselves and pursue career opportunities.

Regardless of whom is at the helm of tech organizations, we should embrace any leader who is forward thinking, competitive, and can pull the genius out of their respective organizations, thereby initiating greater innovation and brilliance.

CC licensed Flickr photo shared by TechCrunch50-2008