Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg claims the negative media coverage of CEO Marissa Mayer and her decision to ban telecommuting at Yahoo! centered on the fact that she is a woman.
While delivering a lecture at Stanford University on Tuesday night to promote her memoir “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” Sandberg claimed that in similar situations, the media did not pounce on male executives.
“It is really hard to know what is happening at Yahoo,” Sandberg said. “There have been no public statements. But the scrutiny, the media firestorm, is about her being a woman. Full stop. Best Buy did the same thing. When it's a man, no one pays attention."
Mayer, who built a nursery beside her office to care for her newborn son, was criticized after she announced in February that Yahoo! would be bringing their work-at-home employees back into the office by June 1. The Yahoo! staff memo ordering the change stated, “Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home... We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”
Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly announced in March that it will no longer allow employees to telecommute. The electronic giant also suffered financially over the years. Best Buy Matt Furman said, “Bottom line, it’s ‘all hands on deck’ at Best Buy and that means having employees in the office as much as possible to collaborate and connect on ways to improve our business.”
Mayer, 37, joined the “Lean In” movement two weeks ago, writing a letter about the risk she took in leaving Google and joining the struggling Yahoo! while pregnant.
At the top of the New York Times Bestseller List, Sandberg’s book is all about women leaning in and embracing career hurdles instead of putting off changes that could interrupt their home lives.