Marissa Mayer has been president and CEO of Yahoo! since July 2012 having previously worked for Google. The 40-year-old is credited with being among the most powerful American businesswomen. According to Forbes, the married mother-of-three is estimated to be worth around $380m and is ranked 36th on its 2015 list of America’s Self-Made Women. To put that into context, the singer Beyonce holds the 49th spot. Born in Wisconsin to an art teacher and environmental engineer, Marissa was said to be a very shy child. Ballet lessons would go on to help equip her with being disciplined, handling criticism and building confidence. After graduating from Stanford University, Marissa went on to become Google’s 20th employee in 1999 – and the internet giant’s first female engineer. How’s that for a #FWLGirlBoss
So what can we learn from Marissa?
#1 A SENSE OF WORTH AND CAPABILITY
Women are more than capable of deservedly holding seats at the top tables of big (or small) companies – and doing a good job too!
#2 BE GENUINE IN CHARACTER
You don’t have to be bolshie, you don’t have to abandon the hope of having children one day and you don’t have to be a man. Being a woman is just fine.
#3 STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE AND CHALLENGE THE STATUS QUO
Being a businesswoman is tough, it’ll require sacrifices at times and while, in more recent years society proclaims to be more ‘equal’, any woman (myself included) knows how difficult it can feel competing against male colleagues in the workplace.
#4 DON’T KNOCK YOURSELF DOWN
Whether the above is down to a lack of confidence or a belief that women come with ‘risks’ (most notably going on maternity, particularly as a 30 to 40 something) we tend to feel we need to over and out-perform our male counterparts. To some extent that’s true, but what’s more important to note is the fact that in reality we need only to aim to over and out-perform ourselves each day.
You have to earn things in life and not just expect what you want to fall into your lap – It takes discipline, energy, the ability to take on board criticism, positivity and confidence.
Now Yahoo! where can I find myself a ballet teacher?