Monday, August 20, 2007

Awards, articles and generational differences

It's been a busy couple months, besides the whole growing a baby thing. I received the National Urban League's Western Region Member of the Year award for my volunteer work with the Seattle Urban League Young Professionals (SULYP).

Our chapter also received the Western Region Chapter of Excellence Award based on our leadership development, community impact, membership development, fund development and communications, and our President Felicia Kline received the Western Region Heineken USA Rising Star award for her policy paper on the importance and effectiveness of the Community Reinvestment Act. A local community paper the Seattle Medium had a story about it here.

The awards were given out at the National Urban League's conference in St. Louis in July, which I missed (too late in the pregnancy to fly). But here's a shot of me, SULPY's founding president, SULYP's current president, Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle President and CEO James Kelly, former SULYP Secretary, and Education Committee Chair at last year's conference in Atlanta, which was incredibly informative.
In late July, I learned I'd had an article published in Urban Influence Magazine (the National Urban League's magazine) about the digital divide in the Black community. I believe there was a 400 word limit, so it's no comprehensive piece, but I think it came out fine. Click image for larger version.
And finally, in August, I was one of the eight women featured in a Seattle Times article for their Gender F section that focuses on women's issues. You can read the full article here and the other related articles on the Seattle Times' Gender F website.
Talking across the gap
Generations chat about stereotypes, cluelessness and cleavage

In the article, writer Michelle Goodman talked with women from several different generations about how they relate to each other in the workplace. Michelle is a longtime freelance writer who has a great book and website (both called The Anti 9 to 5 Guide) about how to transition to part-time, flextime, at-home, outdoor, overseas, nonprofit, or self-employed work so you can build the life you want without spending all your time chained to a cubicle. Read more here:

It was fascinating to be part of the discussion and hear about how the work world has changed for many of the women who've been at it a while, as well as hearing from the younger ladies about how their approach to work is so different from earlier generations - even mine.

The most experienced woman in the group talked about the days of having to wear a full girdle, conservative skirt suit, hosiery and pumps every day when she started out, even though she worked in a construction-related industry.

In contrast, some of the younger women said they feel it's okay to express themselves through their attire, even in a sexy way, because "it's just clothes and just who we are." My comments on that are in the article.

Even though I'm glad I (and Hillary) helped get the word 'cleavage' in a headline in a major daily paper, frankly, I think the pendulum has swung too far to the "flaunt what ya' got" side where daytime/workplace clothing is concerned.

In their defense, one of the young women on the panel said, "But look at Sex in the City! They dress cute but sexy." Yeah, they're also on premium cable after 9 p.m., not sitting across a conference table in a position of authority or across a service counter in a workplace. I think some young women don't get that there's a time and a place for certain fashions.

Case in point, this month's Cosmo Magazine's Fashion section with the headline: The Heat Is On - These low-cut, barely buttoned clothes are racy enough to grab any guy's attention. So true: they are racy and attention-grabbing. And I might consider sporting the white micro cardigan, bra, shorts and six inch platforms the next time I'm poolside on the Riviera with my hubby. But not when I head to the office, where no one should be wearing clothing that requires waxing any body part between their knees and neck. This goes double for you guys.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on all your accomplishments! You certainly have been busy.

    And you were in Atlanta last year! We missed each other by just months.

    I liked the discussion about appropriate dress. It reminds me about that time in Copenhagen (love saying that -- so cosmopolitan) when Michael asked why women's Halloween costumes were always so sexy.

    Such a great sociological question that I've been thinking about lately. I'm going to e-mail him back and cc you on it.

    Wish you were coming to Atlanta, but maybe the Marshall Forum will be in Seattle some day and I'll come see you!