Self-described geek and former Google exec Marissa Mayer assumed her new position as the CEO of Yahoo on Tuesday, making her one of the most powerful women in Silicon Valley.
But Google's 20th hire and first female engineer, who earned a master's degree in artificial intelligence, is a unique brand of computer science "geek." Mayer loves fashion, lives in a penthouse in San Francisco and just announced that she's six months pregnant. Yet this newly appointed CEO is also obsessed with software usability.
"There's all kinds of different women who do this," Mayer said in an interview at a CES2012 panel hosted by CNET. "You can wear ruffles; you can be a jock, and you can still be a great computer scientist, or a great technologist, or a great product designer."
Mayer's fascination with technology didn't truly begin until her years at Stanford, where she purchased her first computer. "I had to be taught how to turn it on and even how to use a mouse," she said, per The Daily Beast. Though she had gone to school in hopes of becoming a doctor, Mayer was quickly pulled toward the endless problem-solving that computer science classes offered.
Unable to decide which of her 14 job offers to accept post-graduation, Mayer created a matrix to analyze the pros and cons of each position, eventually finding herself at Google because she believed their team consisted of "the smartest people."
Indeed, Yahoo just gained one of SIlicon Valley's most talented women. Click through the slideshow below to see her thoughts on being a woman in tech and to hear her advice to job seekers. Then let us know your opinions about Mayer's promotion in the comments section, or tweet us at @HuffPostTech.
"Find something you're passionate about and just love. Passion is really gender-neutralizing," Marissa Mayer said on Martha Stewart's "Women with Vision" television series in 2011.
"Right now is a great time to be a woman in tech, but there's not enough women in tech," Mayer told a CES2012 panel hosted by CNET. "[I] worry a lot of times the conversation gets really focused on what percentage of the pie is women. And the truth is, the pie isn't big enough. We're not producing enough computer scientist. We're not producing enough product designers. We need a lot more people to keep up with all of these gadgets, all of this technology, all these possibilities." Mayer also commented on the stereotypical culture within the tech world: "There's all kinds of different women who do this. You can wear ruffles, you can be a jock, and you still be a great computer scientist or a great technologist, or a great product designer."
"There's just huge growth and opportunity. [T]he fact that the technology is now so tangible in our everyday lives, I think, will inspire a lot more women to go into technology -- and I'm really heartened by that," Mayer said for the MAKERS "Women in Tech" interview series in 2012.
"I consider myself incredibly lucky to be present in a moment in time when this wonderful and powerful medium, the internet, is empowering geeks -- and especially female geeks -- to express and pursue their passions," Meyer said in a 2012 acceptance speech at the Celebrating Change gala. She had just won the International Museum of Women's first-ever Innovator Award.
"People ask me all the time, 'What is it like to be a woman at Google?' I'm not a women at Google; I'm a geek at Google. And being a geek is just great," she said in an interview for CNN's "Leading Women" series in 2012.