German Official: Mayer's Maternity Leave Too Short

Female Cabinet member criticizes Yahoo exec's decision
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2012 6:13 PM CDT
German Official: Mayer's Maternity Leave Too Short
Marissa Mayer in a 2009 file photo.   (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams, File)

New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer says she plans to take a few weeks off for maternity leave and even work from home when she has her baby. This has suddenly become a political issue—in Germany. The nation's minister of family affairs tells Der Spiegel that Mayer is setting a bad example. "I regard it with major concern when prominent women give the public impression that maternity leave is something that is not important," says Kristina Schroeder, 37. "Maternity leave is absolutely important and not just from a medical point of view."

Why would Schroeder pick this fight? It might be because she took criticism herself last year for taking 10 weeks of maternity leave, "slightly less than the legally mandated 14—and well short of the up to 12 months paid leave she might have gotten if she weren't a member of the federal parliament," says Der Spiegel. At the time, she brushed off critics who accused her of returning to work too soon. Mayer hasn't publicly responded to the dig. (It's not Schroeder's first public spat over women's issues. Click here for that.)

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