Postcards

How the power players do it - by Fortune senior editor at large Patricia Sellers

Yahoo's Mayer: "having it all" debate rages on

July 20, 2012: 2:18 PM ET

Mayer (with me) at Fortune's MPW dinner in Palo Alto  Photo Credit: Asa Mathat

What a week! Just as we were starting Fortune Brainstorm Tech in Aspen, the rumors surfaced that Google (GOOG) VP Marissa Mayer would be chosen as Yahoo's (YHOO) new CEO. I called Mayer on her cell and left her a voicemail. She called back within five minutes and told me, "It's true."

Turns out Mayer, 37 -- who became the Fortune 500's youngest CEO and scored a $71 million pay package at Yahoo -- stunned us even more when she called back after Yahoo announced her appointment: "I'm pregnant," she said.

Fortune broke the story of Mayer's pregnancy. (She's due October 7, and it's a boy.) And she fueled the debate about whether successful working women can have it all.

The debate was already raging, actually, since last month when Princeton University's Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote "Why Women Still Can't Have It All."  Slaughter's Atlantic cover story critiqued stars like Facebook (FB) COO Sheryl Sandberg who seem to do it all (with domestic help) and dare other aspiring women to try.

Let's continue the debate. It's healthy. And let's hope that other women like Mayer and Sandberg -- women who succeed at work and family -- surface as role models, as more corporate boards open up opportunities.

I shared my views with Charlie Rose and Gayle King on the CBS Morning Show. You can watch the clip here.

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About This Author
Pattie Sellers
Pattie Sellers
Senior Editor at Large, Fortune
Executive Director of MPW/Live Content, Time Inc.

Pattie Sellers has written more than 20 Fortune cover stories including "Marissa Mayer: Ready to Rumble at Yahoo," "Muhtar Kent's New Coke," "Oprah's Next Act", "The $100 Billion Woman" (Melinda Gates), and "Gone with the Wind" (Ted Turner). She co-founded Fortune Most Powerful Women and oversees the Fortune MPW Summit, the preeminent gathering of women leaders in business and beyond—and programs such as Fortune MPW Entrepreneurs and the Fortune-U.S. State Department Global Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership. Pattie also develops Live Content across Time Inc. Her blog, Postcards, is about how power players lead and navigate their careers. Pattie won Time Inc.'s prestigious MVP award for her performance in 2012.

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