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Yahoo's Marissa Mayer defends her maternity leave

Yahoo's CEO, who gave birth to twins last year, has been criticized for taking a limited amount of time off work after having her babies and setting a bad example to her employees. That is not the case, she says.


Marissa Mayer responds to criticism that she is setting a bad precedent for maternity leave.

Kimberly White, Getty Images for Fortune

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who gave birth to twins last year, says she is the exception to Yahoo's maternity and paternity leave schemes. Mayer had publicly stated that she would only take a limited time off work and would return to work shortly after her babies are delivered.

Mayer has been slammed over her remarks, with critics pointing out that she was setting a bad example to women with the implication that they should be "giving up maternity leave for their careers." That, obviously, hasn't sat well with Mayer, who tweeted out numbers on Thursday to again defend her decision.

According to the company, all of the 469 Yahoo employees who became new mothers in 2015 took at least a month off, with three quarters taking near the maximum 16 weeks of leave. Mayer said 823 men at Yahoo also took paternity time off and that both leave plans were also available to parents who have adopted or had a baby through a surrogate.

Correction, 10:08 a.m. PT: Fixes the maximum leave available to Yahoo employees.