Corporate Responsibility

I say, “Marissa Mayer, Yahoo(!) I don’t work for you!”

Dear Marissa Mayer,

On Monday, February 25th, CNN Money released this article regarding your new HR memo to all Yahoo! employees:

“To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side,” the memo said. “That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices.”

Marissa…I have two words for you: Girlfriend, please.

We all know that by banning telecommuting, you are desperately attempting to rescue Yahoo! from lacking to adapt with growing technology, generate meaningful user content (unless “What one’s favorite color signifies” is what you dub as meaningful content) and the inability to connect advertisers with your audience. (If you need a few other reasons why your company will continue to flounder, you can read all about it on Forbeshere OR here.)

If you are trying to set a new precedent for employees at major corporations in the U.S., in my humble opinion, I feel that you are holding out a giant middle finger to every hard-working parent in this country who is trying to achieve the ultimate work/life balance.










Were you aware that the average cost of daycare is $250 a week for one child, which equals up to $13,000 a year? In some cases, daycare costs exceed the monthly rent. You may want to revise your Yahoo! Family Child Care Program (line #4).

What kind of discount will you now offer those employees who have to suddenly account for daycare costs when they balance their already over-stretched checking accounts? Especially  those who worked from home full time and were successfully managing the work/life balance for no additional cost?

Marissa…it is possible to have it all. This past year, my husband made the move to work from home full time, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Granted, his days are very busy, and he’s usually glued to the home office chair. However, he’s able to be home and provide a watchful eye over our 12-year-old when he gets off the school bus every day at 3:20 p.m. He’s also able to provide at-home supervision on teacher work days, snow days and sick days. This also allows me to focus on my full-time schedule at my job and allows me to save my vacation time for exactly that…VACATION! Not to mention, use the funds for what would otherwise go to daycare costs into other important things…RETIREMENT!



















And what about your employees’ salaries? Will they now receive more than the average annual salary increase of 2-3 percent? For those with growing financial responsibilities (such as DAYCARE), what can you give your employees – to retain great talent? And since the entire world is watching, why don’t you set a new precedent for pay increases, since most middle-class family incomes haven’t risen for more than 20 years.

What’s a working gal to do if she can’t ask for a $13,000 pay raise, or can’t afford to relocate (especially during a real estate crisis when most average households lost 40 percent of their wealth during the recession)? Remember, the majority of us working women are not wealthy CEOs and don’t have the support we would need to swiftly return to work two weeks after giving birth or the clout to build a personal nursery next to their office at work.

Marissa…be smart. Revise your new no-work-from-home policy. Your staff will love you. After all, whether they work in their pajamas or in khakis at the office…it boils down to doing one thing.

Do work, Son…do work.


Another hard-working woman with solidified and flexible workforce rights at a wonderful company.

About Erin Hurley-Brown:

With over a decade of experience within the creative marketplace, Erin brings excellent cross-functional collaboration skills and has demonstrated the ability to achieve business results through the utilization of multiple electronic mediums. At PadillaCRT, Erin is dedicated to building creative strategies and delivering success for her clients. With her background in illustration and design, Erin brings a broad range of talent to the agency. Her work includes everything from creative concepts and strategy development, to designing marketing collateral and identity systems, and she has extensive experience with interactive.

9 Comments on “I say, “Marissa Mayer, Yahoo(!) I don’t work for you!”

  1.  by  Rachael Seda

    Great post Erin! I understand her point about collaboration, I think it can be important for creativity and team bonding. I also believe it’s vital that companies be flexible and accomodating to what helps their employees succeed. Changing up your environment, even if it is working at the coffee shop down the street one day can help spur creativity and help you think differently. I find I write better when I do so at Starbucks for a couple of hours. I think it should be something that is embraced while also keeping a good team environment in the office as well. For example, I know one company that mandates that 12 hour a week you work outside of the office somewhere. And to your point, daycare is expensive and it’s unfortunate that most companies still aren’t accomodating to working parents. But we are talking about the Yahoo CEO who said she wasn’t going to take maternity leave when she had her baby….sooo need I say more?

    Thanks for sharing your perspective as a working parent. I’m not there yet, but I’m already worried about the struggle and balance of keeping it all together!

  2.  by  Jeff W.

    Erin, thank you for your insightful perspective on the telecommuniting debate. While I do believe companies need to be flexible in this modern work enviroment, there is something to be said for employees spending some time together in the office as well. I read another blog post yesterday on ComPro.Biz that outlined the pros and cons of telecommuting. One point stated that “It’s not for everyone. Some employees like the everyday, face-to-face environment. Those telecommuting must be very self-directed employees. Co-workers sometimes feel they are being taken advantage of and have to cover for telecommuters. They are often called upon at the last minute because they are in the office.” You can read the full post here –

  3.  by  Pia Mara Finkell

    Thanks for this great piece, Erin. I couldn’t agree more! Balancing family and work life is a never-ending struggle, and companies that choose to support working parents, and others with medical needs that require them to be outside of the office, are to be commended for providing the flexibility to reinforce a positive and humane work environment. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the face-to-face time, but it’s the choice I’m given and flexibility to be a good employee and a great Mom that keeps me working my a** off and forever loyal to my employer. I agree with Jeff, though, that one must be a very self-motivated and self-disciplined person to handle the privilege of telecommuting well without inconveniencing colleagues or losing sight of company goals. Like anything, this comes down to balance and flexibility. Focusing on achieving both is what makes a good company, employer, employee, mom, dad, etc…excellent.

  4.  by  Emily

    Love this post! From a PR perspective, Mayer did a terrible job of making this announcement. If she had left it at collaboration , she might have been fine; however, she went on to say that caring for a child is “easy”, completely disrespecting every parent who works for her and struggles to maintain a balance between work and home. Meanwhile, she’s built herself a nursery at work, a luxury that none of her employees have. What a slap in their faces.

  5.  by  Marcy Walsh

    This Atlantic article on the topic of how to keep women in the workforce would agree with you: Without flexibility you are asking parents to either drop out of their kids lives or drop out of their work lives. Very few Americans have the income and luxury to have a stay-at-home parent who doesn’t earn a second income. My opinion (not supported by fact but would love to know if I’m right 🙂 ) is that inflexible policies like Yahoo!’s are set by people who have the income to afford full-time care or they have a stay-at-home spouse. Prove me wrong.

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  7.  by  Tracy

    OMG, I love you! There is actually a billboard on the 101 in California that is from a company who promotes how to work with remote employees and says “Marissa, we can help, call us”.

    I work in Silicon Valley and I can tell you that she implemented this to do a lay-off (clever) and in some cases when running a large company as Yahoo! she may have very well been in her right to do so (maybe they are just a bunch of lazy tarts). But as a full-time consultant who works at another giant Silicon Valley company that promotes working remote, I can tell you that she must have implemented this to either clean house, because in the Valley, the way things are leaning are flex-time and running your own schedule as long as the work gets done.

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