As women in business we have to manage against these competing stereotypes but cannot let ourselves fall into the trap of choosing one Star-bellied Sneetch camp over the other. Buried deep within my own professional subconscious was a comment made about me as I walked through a squad room at 22 years of age. When I was introduced as the new criminal analyst, the senior detective across the room not-so-quietly whispered to the other detectives that I was "cute". (The next day after that episode, of course, I returned to work wearing a navy pants suit.)
Now, at 38 years of age I decided the best answer was to strike a balance. While I opted for the skirt suit/bright shell outfit I wanted to wear, I put the red pumps on hold. I decided the shoes might be too much for a new environment to handle. But after reading your magazine I also decided that I will introduce them Week 2.
Thanks for allowing me to share and keep up the great work. More is a terrific balance between serious topics and fashion fun. After all - isn't that what most of us want? I can enjoy reading an article on healthcare reform just as much as I can enjoy an article about "4 Easy Ways to Get Thicker Looking Hair." The latter doesn't make me a beauty school dropout, and the former doesn't make me a healthcare economist. We are far more complex than that.
--Stefanie G, Austin, TX
"Thank God! It's about time you got those things taken care of”.
These words, we are to believe, are from the mouth of writer Amanda Robb's 10-year old daughter upon learning of her mother’s upcoming surgery the next day to remove wrinkles.
She is ten! And "those things" that need to be "taken care of" are the natural features of her mother's face!
One hates to think of in what environment this girl is growing up, what she and her friends watch and talk about, how they view women and on what scale they will value themselves.
Amanda is now a happy 7.
--Eva Nyqvist, Nyack.
Since you issued an invitation in your most current editorial, I thought I would accept.
As one of the few women (1978) in Engineering Technology - Manufacturing Processes I can attest to the beauty and brains part, frankly for all of my schooling. I graduated, 1980 second in my class and went onto my first job working with a bunch of welders designing pressure vessels, mud tanks for the Alaskan oil fields and vacuum cooling units for California produce.
It is something that I learned through experience to manage my presentation finding the "middle way" from trying to become "one of the boys", to, realizing I am not and asking to be treated as who I was, the engineer working with them to design the products, whatever they were to be the best. I'll never forget the salesman who asked if I was a "draftsperson" trying to be PC and I corrected him with, "yeah and they let me do the engineering too, how can I help you?"
Later, as a Business Consultant working in high tech companies with brilliant people, I again learned to manage my presentation of strength and confidence to not be misinterpreted as sexual energy/attraction. Plus when working with my husband, I also had to manage my "energy" to be equal to his, because the audience could react negatively if I did anything less. They would misinterpret the imbalance as him "dominating" me and that could wreak havoc during a training session with men and women. Very dicey if you know what I mean.
I continue to subscribe to your magazine because it is representative of women world-wide being first and foremost great human beings who happen to be woman. After all, we are still just one of the species on the planet and it is important to find a sustainable "place" on this growing smaller kind of world.
Keep up the great work of offering hope, and pathways that "real" women have created for themselves and others,
As a former migraine sufferer, I was interested to see what progress has been made since my last, horrible, 3 day "event" over 15 years ago. I am not sure why I was so surprised to find out that there are at least 30 drugs to try and that alternative treatments only got a paragraph in the whole multi page article.