Like me, McNeese would have been completely out of the paid workforce without the ability to work from home when her children were born. For almost a decade now, she has worked as a consultant, as well as for a nonprofit tech startup that was completely virtual.
McNeese is willing to give Mayer the benefit of doubt for now, but she observes that "like most things, workplace flexibility is not something that is an either/or issue."
McNeese believes that while Yahoo's strategy may make sense in the short-term as a reboot or in a crisis situation, it is unlikely to be sustainable in the long run. Given the culture of Silicon Valley, where so many highly successful companies offer a good amount of flexibility when it comes to working from home, an employer that sets rigid and immutable standards on this issue risks shutting out a large segment of potential talent and making itself undesirable to others.
What about the charge that the impact of Mayer's decision is sure to be felt disproportionately by the working mothers at Yahoo? Shouldn't Mayer "get it" because she is a new mom?
"That's essentialist nonsense in my feminist book," McNeese says. "We all experience motherhood and fatherhood in different ways. If we wouldn't be asking this same question about a male CEO who just had a baby, then I'm just not interested in going there with a female one."
As much as Mayer's decision strikes a nerve for working moms, some of us are feeling a troubling sense of déjà vu about the damned if she does, damned if she doesn't scenario she finds herself in. And at least for now, we are willing to reserve judgment.