Women in Tech: Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer

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Women in Tech: Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer

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In the male-dominated field of technology, few women are able to break the glass ceiling and make a difference.

One such example is Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer. After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Science from Stanford University and a Master’s of Science also from Stanford, the former executive Google employee for 13 years has taken control of Yahoo and revamped its properties and Internet presence. For example, Mayer purchased over 21 companies for “acqui-hires,” according to Forbes, as well as the popular blogging site tumblr. Forbes reports she intends to increase Yahoo’s social media presence, which includes hiring Katie Couric and planning for original programming.

“Marissa has done two things at Yahoo,” says Ben Ling, a partner at venture capital firm Khosla Ventures and a former Google colleague, as reported to Bloomberg Businessweek in 2013. “She has made it an attractive place for top talent to work, and she has begun to release products that engage consumers on a daily basis.”

Though Mayer is a young CEO, she was one of Google’s very first female engineers and at Yahoo she hopes to usher the media company into the modern age, she told Businessweek. After Yahoo has seen it’s share of failing CEOs and programs, the new first-time CEO they hired was Mayer, who happened to be six-months-pregnant at the time. As CEO, Mayer has lead the internet company in acquiring Flickr, creating a new mobile weather app, revamping of Yahoo Mail, and the acquisition of tumblr.

During an interview for Vogue, she says, “I didn’t set out to be at the top of technology companies. I’m just geeky and shy and I like to code.”

She recounts a tale to the Vogue editor about a time at Stanford where the newspaper listed campus icons and one read, “the blonde woman in the upper-division computer-science classes,” which had been her. She adds, “I really had just been very blind to gender. And I still am.”

Miranda Siwak, WE Intern

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