Yahoo for Yahoo!

This Monday, women gained ground in the digital world when Yahoo! announced its new CEO: Marissa Mayer, the former VP of Location and Local Services at Google.

On top of her career changes, Mayer herself took to Twitter last night to announce more exciting news: She and her husband Zach Bogue are expecting their first child, a boy, due October 7th.

Mayer has been an influential figure in the tech industry for years. As MarketWatch notes, after starting at Google as its 20th employee, she pioneered some of the site’s most well-known features, from the look and feel of its homepage to some of its most popular applications, like Google Images, Google News and Gmail.

According to Fortune, these credentials were more than enough to convince the board of Yahoo! that she was the woman for the job. Additionally, Mayer noted that after informing the board of Yahoo! of her pregnancy in late June, “None of the Yahoo directors … revealed any concern about hiring a pregnant chief executive.”

In her interview with Fortune, Mayer mentioned that she plans to remain in the business groove throughout the pregnancy and after. She said, “I like to stay in the rhythm of things … My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I’ll work through it.”

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As The New York Times reports, Mayer’s influence reaches far beyond Silicon Valley. In 2010 she was named to TIME magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World and earlier this year she became the fourth woman to sit on Wal-Mart’s board of directors.

We’ve talked a lot about the struggles of women in the digital world, but it’s especially encouraging that Mayer’s announcement comes just weeks after Sheryl Sandberg’s appointment to the board of Facebook. Given the recent opportunities for women in tech start-ups—not to mention the positive research about having women on corporate boards—we’re excited to see things looking up for computer-savvy gals.

Mayer now joins a select group of women (including Sandberg, Meg Whitman of Hewlett-Packard and Virginia Rommety of IBM) to make it to the top of a tech company. But she will definitely be one of the first to navigate the tricky balance between career and family in such a public light.

For now, she’s managing the transition with a well-honed work ethic: After resigning by phone from Google Monday afternoon, she started work at Yahoo! on Tuesday morning.

Image Credit: earcos via Flickr