Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer sparked debate among remote workers worldwide when she introduced a new telecommuting policy in February that sent many of her own employees back to the office. After a period of silence, Mayer defended her decision, adding that it “was wrongly perceived as an industry narrative.” Wrong or not, she had the public’s attention. This analysis of public sentiment by social media management company SDL shows that while people’s perceptions of Mayer improved when she extended maternity leave for new mothers and added some perks for fathers and adoptive parents, their interest in the story waned overall.
In the presentation below, SDL outlines the volume trend, share of voice, sentiment analysis, and conversational themes related to each set of policies. The extended maternity leave announcement and the parent perks, announced in close succession, are counted as one event.
Mayer’s telecommuting policy got the most attention by far with 47,121 mentions on Twitter, blogs, and other networks, the analysts learned, with the bulk of conversations happening on Twitter (68 percent for telecommuting and 63 percent for the parental policies). The work-from-home debate was also the most divisive — 51 percent of the conversations on this topic were negative, while 49 percent were positive. Once Mayer announced more parent-friendly policies, 63 percent of the chatter was positive and only 37 percent was negative, but there were only 2, 328 mentions overall. It’s worth clicking through the links on the theme cloud on the last slide, as it shows a few of the more thoughtful articles and comments that appeared on Twitter.