Mitt Romney, who has been under attack for his numerous offshore accounts and failure to disclose tax returns is apparently hoping to draw attention away from his past by making highly controversial remarks about women in the workplace. During an informal luncheon of campaign benefactors and selected media, Romney was asked about the conservative “war on women”:
“How can there be a war on women when one of them just got promoted to the highest office at Yahoo!? The depressing part is that she’s pregnant and yet still took the position. There is a war, but that war is being waged on good family values. Now I ask you, is it responsible to take on the job of CEO of a billion dollar corporation when you are about to have a child? I think not my friend. Marissa Mayer belongs at home with her baby, not running a company. Her child needs a mother. I know what it is like to be in charge of a company, I ran Bain until 20… ah, 1999. There is no feasible way she can adequately raise her child and be a successful CEO. It’s one or the other.”
Romney’s statements should not come as a surprise as the candidate has been previously been unwillingly to support the Lily Ledbetter Act that would require corporations to pay women and men equally. Clearly, as a member of the National Association for the Advancement of White Men, equality is not something Romney strives for in his personal or professional life. Apparently, he is not the only one who believes women like Mayer should not be mixing business with “motherly duties”. After Mayer’s CEO/pregnancy announcement, numerous articles have been written questioning whether she will be a capable CEO. Not due to her relative youth or inexperience as a CEO, but because of her pregnancy. Many believe as Romney does that Mayer would be better suited in an apron than a power suit.
As for Marissa Mayer, the 37-years-old Stanford graduate has been named to Fortune magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. She was the first female engineer at Google and held the title of Vice President when she departed. In 2009 she was named the Glamour Woman of the Year and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi described her as “a powerhouse of creativity and business acumen for one of the world’s most innovative companies. Marissa Mayer is leading the way in keeping America number one.” Mayer is only the 20th current female CEO of a Fortune 500 company, which leads to a rather obvious observation. Perhaps the economy wouldn’t be so pathetic if more women like Mayer became CEOs.
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