Dear Lisi: My wife and her best friend have big, impressive careers. They are both CEOs of their respective companies in different but similar fields. One of their main similarities is the fight they have to wage daily simply because they are women.
One woman is petite and cute; the other tall and model-pretty. I mention their appearances because people think they can push the small one around (wrong!), and think that if they comment on the tall one’s beauty, they can win her over. Wrong again.
Both are married with more than one child. They are educated, accomplished, hard-working tough women who deserve everything they have worked for.
Why do they still have to push for the right to be treated equally among their predominantly male colleagues? The men in their offices are also evolved, educated and don’t outwardly acknowledge the discrepancy but it permeates the work environment (not necessarily in each particular office).
I want to scream for them but have no outlet.
Thank you for using this column as your outlet. I applaud you and all men who recognize — and are trying to change — the continuous discrepancy that still exists in the workforce.
Just today I had a professional ask me how to help her say NO to people who ask her to lower her fee when she’s already posting lower rates than her male counterparts. It is unfair. Full stop.
These women you mention should feel proud of all they have accomplished and the path they are paving for younger women who will follow. It is definitely a too-slow process.
Support both women any way you can, and let them know how you feel. Knowing that there are men out there hoping to change the inequality is a step forward.
FEEDBACK regarding the woman distracted by something on her co-worker’s face (Feb. 15):
Reader #1 – “The letter from Distracted Eye described the white bump on the eyelid of a co-worker, and the letter writer’s discomfort with it. The bump is almost certainly a type of skin condition called milia. Milia are blocked pores, completely harmless and painless. I have had them on my face and eyelids for years. They come and go, for no apparent reason. They cannot be burst, so don’t suggest that. When the milia on my face became really large, I had them treated by a dermatologist and proper treatment by a physician is what I would recommend.
“I would also suggest that you could have encouraged the writer to just get over herself - freaking out about someone’s physical appearance, no matter how `different` is silly and immature. Having said that, I agree with you that the writer could simply ask about it, in a non-freaked out way.”
Lisi – I didn’t get the impression that the writer was freaking out at all. She remarked that she always looks people in the eye when she speaks to them (not silly or immature at all), and she was having trouble doing so because of this blemish.
Reader #2 – “That pimple on the eyelid is a chalazion, the reaction to a blocked pore, which my optometrist told me would go away on its own in a few months. The writer should feel free to ask about it.”
Lisi – Two different readers, both fairly sure they’ve diagnosed the problem. This is exactly why I don’t attempt to make diagnoses in my answers. I am not a doctor and have no visual of the particular issue. Only the person with the blemish knows what it is.
FEEDBACK Regarding the grandparent uneasy with her friend competing with grandchildren (Feb. 17):
Reader – “There are some grandparents/parents who thrive on comparing their kids. I was the first in my group of friends to become a grandparent. I made it my point not to burden others with stories or pics, and only commented when asked.
“However, I was loving my new role as a grandparent. So, I began a journal that I wrote in when things came up - when they walked, first words, trips, activities we did together, funny things they did, etc.
“My journals are divided in two: left side is dedicated to my grandchildren; and on the right I included anything important in the news with captions/articles from the paper.
“My grandkids are both teens now, and I am on book four for each them. I plan to give them the journals when they graduate from high school. They contain a treasure of events about their lives and the world.”