Schisms in the Isms…

Glass Ceiling
Glass Ceiling

Oh no, I think I am having a serious moment.

Courtny, my dazzling daughter, and I have talked about women in the work place for years. She has known that a glass ceiling is not an architectural feature since the tender age of 5.


Professionally, I have always been in the minority and have had to deal with way too many grabby, sexist Men at Work (not the rock band!)

I remember my first year at ABC Sports. One of the sports expert set up a meeting in his office and proceeded to lock me in and charge like a bull…his girth was comparable to the bulls running at Pamplona.

Not even a sword could have brought the beast down, although it might have been fun to dress the part of a Matadora (created my own palabra).

I wanted out…I was not allowing anyone to ever take advantage of me in public or private so what did I do?

I started screaming like I was at a NY Giants football game. Instead of “Go Giants Go” I was belching out, “Help Me, I am being attacked by a grotesque beast.”

Well, if you are going to be rescued it might as well be by a former NY Giant (a never ending presence) and Hall of Famer, the handsome, gallant, Mr. Frank Gifford.

He knocked the door down as if he was blocking a defensive end on the line of scrimmage and rescued the damsel or matadora in distress.

Another episode involved a major player in the music biz who cornered me in my office (recurring theme) and armed with a letter opener, threatened to take me down “like Hitler took down the Jews!”

Charming and all because I was good at my job and wouldn’t kiss the ring. That’s all I am spewing for now…not happy memories, but I stood my ground and never got mad, just even.


As appealing as sexism is (she said sarcastically), lets take a gander at ageism.

Presently, my dappling with employment in the corporate world has shown that age and experience are not valued and respected in today’s workplace.

Courtny recently pointed out an article that ran August 7th in the NY Times, “The Opt Out Generation Wants Back In.”  It takes a look at previously successful professional women who, in the midst of ascending the corporate ladder, took extended leave to raise their children and their present struggles to opt back in.

Unlike women who are still considered viable in their 30’s and 40’s, women my age cannot even get their foot in the door. In the pursuit of lower level jobs, we are considered overqualified and senior positions are reserved for younger, less expensive candidates.

It is a real dilemma and I imagine it will be exacerbated by the fact that the population, in particular, women, are living and working longer.

My counter attack is to continue with my own endeavors because I suspect that at my age, no one in big business will hire me again purely on merit as employers do not consider my extensive experience and talents enough of a viable asset.

Ageism, perceived pay scale (or should I say Gray scale) and always having someone younger willing to work cheaper are the big issues that confront mature women…. although the fact is, you do get what you pay for.

In public relations and special events, my areas of expertise, a plethora of women want in as they think it is all about the parties and rubbing shoulders with celebrity. It is a demanding business with little gratitude or accolades and you take a massive amount of crap.

Fellow, fallopian tubers, stay strong, calm, don’t take any shit, be better than everyone else and continue to bravely walk that fine line between having balls and being too feminine.

For the foreseeable future, it is not a level playing field so exploit the assets you have…be smart, wiley, employ politically correct forms of manipulation, be sports knowledge relevant, never have sex with a co-worker or your boss.

Damn it, we can have it all…maybe not a perfect world scenario, but we can do it!

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