The Better Half: Profiling Women of Substance – Marissa Mayer

by Keith · 0 comments

Blog for Men - Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer is beautiful. Blonde hair and blue eyes with an arresting smile; it seems likely Brian Wilson anachronistically wrote “California Girls” about her. It’s not her looks, though, that make Marissa one of the most powerful women in the world. Beautiful women come a dime-a-dozen, a lucky confluence of genetics and fashion.

Make no mistake; Marissa Miller is brilliant. After earning an M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford, Marissa became the first female engineer at a Silicon Valley startup called “Google.” Through the 2000’s she helmed Google’s User Interface (how the site looks and works) and served as Vice President of Search Products. Google Maps, Gmail, Google Earth, Google News; Marissa molded each, asking “is each pixel just right?”[1]

Marissa is chiefly responsible for Google’s spare and clean aesthetic: “I really love color…[and] very clean, simple lines.” [2] Stories of her exacting control of color, lines and fonts are the stuff of legend at Google’s Mountain View, CA Headquarters.

Being as she who controls Google’s search page controls the internet, Forbes Magazine named her one of its 50 Most Powerful Women for 2011. At only 36 years old, she is the youngest ever to receive the honor. Not that accolades are anything new; she was among Glamour’s Women of the Year in 2009 and has graced the cover of Newsweek Magazine. Marissa has also run the Portland Marathon and the San Francisco Half-Marathon, among others.

“I refuse to be stereotyped,” she says. “I think it’s very comforting for people to put me in a box. ‘Oh, she’s a fluffy girlie girl who likes clothes and cupcakes. Oh, but wait, she is spending her weekends doing hardware electronics.’ ”[3]

Now Vice President of Location and Local Services, Marissa recently spearheaded Google’s acquisition of Zagat Survey. A fiercely competitive person, in her 13 years with Google, she’s risen from a mere programmer to “the one deciding what [Google does].”[4] 13 more years and she’ll probably rule the world.

Keith Good is a writer, husband and father living in Ohio. His fiction has most recently appeared in The Punkin House Digest and Yesteryear Fiction.


[1] Charlie Rose. March 5, 2009. http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/10129

[2] Manjoo, Farhad. “Marissa Mayer-The Visionary”. Glamour. Dec 2009. http://www.glamour.com/women-of-the-year/2009/marissa-mayer

[3] Holson, Laura M. “Putting a Bolder Face on Google.” The New York Times. Feb 28, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/01/business/01marissa.html?pagewanted=all

[4] Guthrie, Julian. The adventures of Marissa. San Francisco Magazine. February 8, 2008. http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/the-adventures-of-marissa

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