One Month Later: The Media’s Response to Yahoo’s Ban on Telework Completely Missed the Point

Now that the dust has settled, it’s time to examine the media’s response to Yahoo’s ban on telework. Much analysis, by “journalists” and experts alike, missed the point entirely. I explain where so many went wrong.

Who'da thought she'd be the one setting back the cause of working parents?
Most analysis of yahoo’s ban on telework missed the point. The ban punishes the 98% of Yahoo employees who don’t fully work from home

I promise this is the last I’ll write about this issue unless there’s some new development

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to ban working from home for all employees was rightfully a hotly debated topic. Considering the steady rise of telework over the past decade, the increased attention to work-family issues, and Mayer’s high visibility as the first female CEO of her generation (who was hired while pregnant and recently build a posh nursery for her baby in her CEO suite), you had all the ingredients for a big story.

It is not surprising that many people had very strong feelings about this ban on telework, both pro (“working from home kills creativity”) and con (“betrayal of the sisterhood!”). I have become inured to “journalists” and advocates being unable to write accurate articles. When there’s a hot button issue, we very often get shouting, cherry-picked facts, provocative headlines and overstated conclusions. These are great for page views, but not for an informed readership.

Now that we’re a few weeks out, the time seems right to examine the media reaction to Yahoo’s ban on telework. (hint: almost everyone missed the point entirely)

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Watch Me on Huffington Post Live!

I was happy to be asked to join a panel of experts and parents on HuffPost Live for a half-hour live show,  “Leaning Together,” about Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” and Lisa Belkin’s article about how, in order for women to “Lean In” to careers, men have to do more at home.

A screencap of my 3/19/13 appearance on Huff Post Live!
A screencap of my 3/19/13 appearance on Huff Post Live!

The segment originally aired Wednesday afternoon, but you can watch it here at your leisure. http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/sheryl-sandberg-lean-in-housework/514681e42b8c2a44010002a2 (please follow the link, stupid WordPress doesn’t embed video very well)

It was a great discussion about careers, gender, and the division of paid and household work between couples. I defend men as more involved than they are often given credit for, and emphasize the importance of discussing your priorities and career goals with your spouse, and acting like a true team in order to support each other.

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