In the early ’90s, as one of the first women editors of a technology magazine, my female employees would plop themselves down in my office to recount the humiliations, the come-ons, and the frustrations over the lack of a clear promotion path relative to their male office mates. With a young family at home waiting for me to get dinner on the stove, I probably lacked the patience and diplomacy to tackle the war for equal rights.
I did the best I could. For each roadblock they posed, my MO was to fire back a humorous salvo on the perks of being a woman in a male-dominated field. Look at the bright side, I’d say. Bill Gates remembers you in the crowd. The lines at the bathroom are really short. You don’t have to wear that silly khaki pants uniform. It’s a lot easier for you to talk your way into the “no-press” area.