TECH
04/19/2013 03:25 pm ET

Marissa Mayer Finally Addresses Work From Home Ban

Two months after a leaked Yahoo internal memo banning employees from working from home caused an uproar, Chief Executive Marissa Mayer has finally broken her silence over the controversial policy.

Fortune reports that at a Los Angeles conference for human resources professionals on Thursday, Mayer defended the move, which she called the "elephant in the room."

The 37-year-old told the audience of HR professionals that while "people are more productive when they're alone...they're more collaborative and innovative when they're together. Some of the best ideas come from pulling two different ideas together." Mayer held up Yahoo's new weather app as an example of what can happen when workers collaborate together in person.

In Mayer's widely talk about memo she wrote: “To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices." This decision caused an uproar, both within the company and from the public. Mayer was especially criticized when it was revealed that she had a nursery built in her office, a luxury that most working parents cannot afford.

Mayer, who was a star at Google before leaving in 2012, has been closely watched over the past year as she struggles to turn around the flailing internet giant. Still the company is still struggling to mount its turnaround; selling ads continues to be a weakness.

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BEFORE YOU GO

  • 1 Advice To Job Hunting Women
    "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.
  • 2 The Pie 'Isn't Big Enough'
    "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."
  • 3 Tangible Technology
    "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.
  • 4 Internet Empowered
    "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.
  • 5 Geekin' Out
    "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.
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