Weekly News Update / Open Thread

Suits - Weekly News Update | CorporetteLike these posts? Follow us on Twitter or Facebook — this is the edited version of what we’re reading! (We also Tweet if we hear about a good sale through our CorporetteDeals Twitter feed.) You can also follow us on Pinterest and Instagram, or by our RSS feed.

  • The Inside Scoop (a blog from Shop It To Me) talks to costume designer Jolie Andreatta for tips on getting the “Suits” look.
  • Nothing new here, but Business Insider has a great roundup of all the subtle ways women are treated differently at work.
  • Bloomberg Businessweek reports on what led to the sexual harassment and discrimination suit filed by Whitney Wolfe, a former vice president for marketing at Tinder, and touches on sexism in the world of startups.
  • Speaking of sexism, New York magazine reports that two women who filed a 2010 gender discrimination lawsuit against Goldman Sachs are seeking class status for the suit, which alleges that Goldman had a “boys’ club atmosphere” that meant lower pay and slower promotions for women, meetings at strip clubs, and sexual harassment.
  • FiveThirtyEight references the Tinder lawsuit in its piece on sexual harassment and sexism in the tech field.
  • OK, just ONE more on this subject: Aol Jobs features tips on working in a male-dominated field from a woman who used to work at a financial services firm. What do you think of her “France” analogy?
  • Kathy Caprino, writing for Forbes, would prefer to never again hear the phrase “having it all.”
  • Trying to bike to work but don’t want to cut skirts out of your wardrobe? Lifehacker clues us in to an easy fix using only a penny and a rubber band. (We’ve also talked about makeup for a bike commute).
  • PopSugar Smart Living gives you useful eight questions to ask yourself to make it easier to declutter at home.
  • … And now for your Laugh of the Week.

Did we miss anything? Add ’em here, or send them to [email protected] Thank you! Also: Are you a mom or mom-to-be? Don’t miss this week’s news update at CorporetteMoms

This is our final post for Monday, so let’s treat it like an open thread. Tomorrow we’ll return to our regular posting schedule.


  1. Blonde Lawyer :

    I see one flaw in the “France analogy.” It assumes that you don’t know before you “move to France” that the population is 80% male and they speak French.

    I worked in law enforcement before going into law and I fully expected to be walking into a male dominated environment where hetero-cis male norms prevailed. (I’m not sure if I used the correct qualifiers but I think you get what I’m trying to say.)

    My response was the first one, but not to the exclusion of women. I think, to some extent, you have to expect to speak French. I don’t mean you have to put up with sexual harassment but you can’t expect the same environment as if you worked w/ all women and you can’t expect the guys to treat you differently. Personally, I wouldn’t want them to treat me differently.

    What gets treacherous is if, as Sheryl Sandberg has written, you start to believe there can only be one high achieving woman in this arena and it is going to be you so you start looking down on or belittling the other women to push yourself up.

    I certainly didn’t do that but I recognized that men and women played somewhat different roles in my field and we needed a balance of both per shift to have a successful shift. There were exceptions of course (men who were afraid to get hands on, women who could restrain as effectively as any man) but generally a mix was better than all of either.

    • Meg Murry :

      Yes, I agree about the part where you didn’t know that moving to France would involve 80% males and French speaking. However, I think it is fair to say that while you knew it, you didn’t know just how taxing that would be on you until you were in it.

      I was amused at the comment about the women’s bathroom though. At one male-dominated workplace I was in, the women’s bathroom/locker room became the unofficial “women’s conference room” – and one place where we could escape our crazy bosses. And cry, and discuss interview strategies to get out of the crazy place. In an open plan office, the locker room and one storage room became the only places with closed doors that could be escaped to.

      • hoola hoopa :

        “it is fair to say that while you knew it, you didn’t know just how taxing that would be on you until you were in it.”

        I agree with that. I’m in a STEM field and can so relate to the issues so briefly discussed in the FiveThirtyEight article linked above. It’s one thing to know that you’ll be working almost entirely with men. It’s another to find out really what can fly in that situation. I know I sort of thought that once I graduated I’d be working with professional adults who knew how to behave and it was rather shocking to realize the reality.

        To follow the analogy, I joined a colony. I transitioned to a niche that’s roughly half women and am a million times happier. I don’t think I could have stayed in France for my whole career. I love my work, though, and it would have been sad to leave that because of the bad behavior of others.

  2. anon prof :

    I read Bond Girl after seeing it recommended by someone here and LOVED it (while of course also hating it since wow, the treatment of women on trading floors it depicts is awful). Is it really that awful, and if so how do they get away with it?

    • Lady General :

      Being on a trading floor seems to require a thick skin. I think that everyone is treated awfully (although I’m sure it’s nothing like boot camp).

      Anyone else here remember the whole Virginia v. United States case (re letting women into VMI)? I think that the treatment is like that and not for everyone.

      That said, all of my trading desk clients wear pants and not pencil skirts. I’ve had female clients on trading desks, but it’s very much the exception (and those people have been great and didn’t leave b/c they were treated badly as women but just for better jobs for them; there’s a lot of turnover at the junior levels all around).

    • I read it and would’ve thought it was all exaggeration…except one of my friends works on the trading floor and it is EXACTLY like that!

    • Yes–it’s that awful. I was on a trading floor, but not in NYC. It was actually worse bc it was a small hedge fund and so we didn’t really have any HR, and I was the only woman. Right rotten. Made me leave finance for good, and it’s a shame.

      • I work in fixed-income in NYC on the banking side after spending some time downstairs at our trading desk. Before this job, I was at a small hedge fund in London where I was also the only woman. That experience was rough, and I almost left finance for good like MJ above.

        Now that I’m at a large, multinational investment bank, and have a little more experience in the financial industry, things are definitely better. Yes, all junior analysts gets treated like absolute crap on the trading desk and on the banking floors in general- but that’s true for all those in junior positions, regardless of gender. For me, it quickly became clear that there was no need for me to change my rather girly personality because all anybody cared about was how competent and capable I was. If I did my job well and was friendly and nice and acted like my normal self, my career was in no way affected by my lack of a y chromosome. In fact, some of the male senior bankers have been incredible mentors who went out of their way to help me move up the ladder.

        Like any other industry, it’s a personality fit. I’ve always been about as emotionally sensitive to negative feedback as a brick wall, so the yelling and competitiveness and general aggression didn’t phase me in the least. I actually love receiving criticism- praise more, of course, but if I’m doing things well for a long stretch of time, it makes me wonder if I can’t take on something more challenging and complex. It was the bro-culture that made me move to the private side- farting noises over the intercom, really guys?- but I know plenty of women who are on the trading floor who actually think those farting noises are hilarious and can pound back beers as well as any of the boys.

  3. Threadjack, please!

    I am attending an Indian wedding for the first time and have some questions about what to wear. I’d like to wear a sari at some point and a colorful beautiful evening gown at another point. My thought is to wear the evening gown with Indian jewelry at the reception. Would I wear a sari to the ceremony? Or the sangeet? Is a sari at a sangeet too formal? (Sangeet is at a banquet/restaurant, not at a home, if that changes anything.) Thanks!

    • nutella: it all depends on how fancy the sari is. I would first ask how comfortable you are with putting on a sari. The bridal partly will have help getting into their saris, and unless you are experienced with the folding/draping, I would go with a salwar/kurta (available on-line or in Little India sections of major cities). The evening gown for the reception should be fine.

      • Thank you! Will a salwar be formal enough for the ceremony? What about the sangeet?

        The draping question is a good point. I have never worn a sari. I have seen reviews for “pleat makers” and people have said they were easy and did the job well, but the only friends I have attending this wedding are men and thus won’t be able to help in case things go awry!

        • Salwar will be formal enough for both (of course, the more colorful and sparkly, the better). I find it’s easier to dance in a salwar for the sangeet. If you go with a sari, practice using youtube videos first. Safety pins help a ton. It’s tough get it right by yourself if you haven’t worn one before. Would any of your friend’s mothers/aunts/sisters be available to help?

          • Technically yes, but I don’t want to bother the groom’s family or the bride’s bridal party on the day-of. The men I know who are going are not Indian, like me, so no female relative help there, either. Looks like I will go with a Salwar. Is a cocktail dress (that I can dance in) appropriate for the sangeet if I wear the salwar to the ceremony and an evening gown to the reception? Or should I do salwar for Sangeet and the western gown with Indian jewelry all day for the ceremony and reception? (I’m so excited!!!)

          • It doesn’t have to be day-of, they can tutor you a day or two ahead of time and IMO in-person tutoring beats youtube videos any day. A couple of tutorials and you can do it yourself the third time with no problem. Also, you want someone to take a look at you in the full attire beforehand just to make sure the blouse fits you right and everything looks right. So better not to leave this until the last minute!
            (Speaking from experience here, a non-Indian friend borrowed my saree for another Indian friend’s wedding, I did a short tutorial with her beforehand and she looked terrific on the day of!)

            With regard to attire/occasion, are 2 of the 3 events on the same day (ceremony and reception)? Do you know if people will be changing? There will be dancing at both the reception and the sangeet most likely, so you should be comfortable for both. I’d pick the Indian outfit (in this case, salwar kameez) for the ceremony and then stay in it for the reception, and pick one of your dresses (potentially the longer one) for the sangeet.

    • Anonymous :

      Depending on how traditional the wedding is (or how many non-Indian guests there are) you may feel uncomfortable wearing anything which shows your legs. The poster above is correct, saris are tough to put on so if you’ve never worn one, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you know you’ll have help However, lehengas or salwars can be just as gorgeous and are very easy to wear so would recommend getting one of those. Don’t worry about blinging out – be as flashy as you want, you’ll pale in comparison to the bride.

    • cavity maker :

      salwars are perfectly fine for weddings! I am sari-adverse, and only wear them for super special occasions, because I am not a master at the folding/tucking and pleating. Saris are pretty intimidating to wear for the first time and rarely comfortable– dependent on the fabric that your sari is made of. Also, there are significant regional differences in sari folding/pleating (bengali v. punjabi, etc).

      You would likely be fine for a salwar for the wedding and a cocktail dress for the reception.

    • Completely agree that both sarees and salwar-kameez are properly appropriate and formal enough for any and all of the occasions; with the only caveat that the fabric matters. So avoid a very plain or simple cotton salwar kameez of course, and avoid white and (ideally also) black, but a festive fabric with embroidery/sparkles would work for anything.

      That said, (a) a saree is hard to dance in, but (b) a saree is generally more formal than salwar-kameez. For both these reasons, if you have a saree and would like to wear it, consider wearing it for the more formal main wedding ceremony, which is also less active (you’ll mostly be sitting).

      Do you have any Indian lady friends – not necessarily related to the wedding party? Friends, former colleagues, etc. – from my experience, we Indian women are delighted to share if someone wants to learn to wear a saree, and will volunteer for a home tutoring session happily. Heck, if you post your location and an anonymous email id I’d probably volunteer to help you or someone else on this board will.

      Regarding the evening gown, yes, it’s a great idea to pair it with Indian jewelry to dress it up, and I second the advice of the poster who said to not show too much skin (cleavage or legs) as that is unusual in Indian attire. Definitely bling out!

      • Thank you for all the help, ladies!! I’m so excited! The dress I had in mind for the reception (at least) was this: https://www.renttherunway.com/shop/designers/issa_dresses/frenchrivieragown

        It does have an open back, I ran it by my friend (Indian but lives in another city) and he didn’t see a problem with it. (But I’d love to know objections if it’s blatantly inappropriate!) I was planning to jazz it up with lots of jewelry. I will likely visit the Indian district this weekend to check out the jewelry and see the options between a salwar and a sari.

        Will report back if I need an in-person tutorial, as most of my indian friends (except for the bride and groom) are in other cities! Love how supportive this community is — which reminds me, will we ever have a Chicago meet up??

        • Flying Squirrel :

          It really depends on how conservative the family is whose wedding you are attending. This dress would be totally fine in the Indian community where I grew up, as would a cocktail dress that shows your legs, but there may be more traditional families where it wouldn’t be so (I don’t really know them personally, so I can’t comment). I will say that non-Indians wearing Indian clothes are always perceived as more formal than an Indian wearing the same outfit (since it’s clear that you went out of your way to put on something ehtnic), so I would worry about fabric/bling less than you would if you were Indian.

          My inclination would be to do what you are doing: cocktail dress or salwar-kameez for Sangeet, sari for wedding, gown for reception. Depending on the host, though, you may find that most people not wearing Indian clothes at the reception are wearing cocktail dresses…that’s always been true at the weddings I’ve attended. Honestly, though, I would run all this by the couple getting married. I was always happy to field these questions (as long as they weren’t the day of).

        • Looks beautiful and very appropriate! The open back is not a concern at all IMO – there are plenty of saree blouses that have similarly plunging back necklines (or backless cholis) that are very commonly worn at weddings.

          I definitely recommend blinging it up with big earrings, necklace and bracelets (this being an Indian wedding, you don’t have to choose between accessories – wear ’em all!).

          If you’re visiting a store to buy an Indian outfit, you could request a demo and they’d probably be happy to teach you how to wear them as well. You could also take your gown along to the store to choose coordinating Indian jewelry.

          If you have time, you can consider ordering online as well – I ordered a saree (and custom stitched blouse) from utsavfashion dot com and it was great (wore it to a wedding) – but takes time (I think 2 weeks). I personally prefer shopping online since I feel a bit pressured to buy in-store with the sales clerks sorta breathing down my neck. (Feel free to tell them to give you time to think about it, if that happens).

        • Hi there, I am an Indian girl in Chicago but sadly no experience in how to put on a sari. Have fun at the wedding, check out the Indian dress stores on Devon Avenue. I am in if we are doing “this site” chicago meetup. I met some ladies two years ago for drinks once, would be wonderful to meet up again.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      I am having an Indian wedding, and I would love it if one of my non-Indian friends asked me for help re: her saree–she will have lots of aunties who can help you out day of–it will be lovely! If you are comfortable, wear a salwar to her sangeet and a saree to her wedding. But a lehanga may be more comfortable for dancing if you are not used to wearing a saree.

  4. One thought I have about the whole “having it all” debate is that we’re using the wrong words, and by doing so we are avoiding the real issue.

    It’s often noted that nobody ever asks men if they can “have it all”…males have been running companies (or empires) while having families for a long, long time.

    So when we say, can women have it all (even at the same time), that isn’t what we’re actually asking. We are asking can women DO it all. And of course they can’t, no one can. Men never have, that’s why they had wives and secretaries/admin assistants. You can’t run a company and remember to bake cupcakes AND buy a housewarming present for the new neighbors. You can’t DO all that. Can you have a successful career and a successful family? Sure, you just have to ‘outsource’ some things, like men have always done. You decide which things you want to outsource based on which are actually important to you. I need to BE at my son’s birthday party. I don’t need to plan it, bake the cake, decorate the house, etc. There are husbands or party planners and bakeries for that. Again, everyone decides which things, both at home and at work, they want/need to outsource. But we have to stop asking about having it all, which sets up a false dichotomy between home and work, and instead recognize we are really talking about DOING literally EVERYTHING.

    Men have NEVER been able to DO everything, and we can’t either.

    • The difference is that women often equate having it all with doing it all. They want to bake the cake, not buy it. They want to be at the school performance, not just run it at the end and give congratulations. They want to nurse or pump, even though most babies do fine on formula. Either out of guilt, societal expectations, or their own inner drive, many women DO want to do it all. I agree it’s impossible.

      “Having it all” doesn’t mean just having a family, as in creating and raising one. It means having all the parental and nurturing experiences that some women (and, I guess, some men) feel are part of parenthood, in addition to a career.

      • I just corrected my comment above using the blessed “Click to Edit” function.

    • hoola hoopa :

      I agree. Whenever I see a wind up for a “can women have it all” article, discussion, etc, I think to myself “No, you can’t. Accept it and move on.”

      Frankly, the men at the top don’t have it all or do it all, either. They sacrificed for their positions. So will a woman. Maybe what’s sacrificed is different or feels different, but it’s inevitable regardless of gender.

    • Baconpancakes :

      This is a pretty great distinction, Sadie. I think the main difference is that women FEEL like they’re sacrificing something (ie traditional “good wife/mother” roles) whereas men haven’t traditionally really wanted to bake cupcakes with each kid in their preschooler’s class piped out on top, so they don’t really feel like they’re sacrificing anything. But I agree, you do have to sacrifice something if you’re going to be active in your family life. Does this make anyone else think of Robin Williams showing up two hours late to his kid’s Little League game in Hook?

      • Hahaha, baconpancakes about Hook! I just remember that HUGE CELL PHONE!

      • Hahaha… I JUST watched Hook this weekend. The clothes and technology look sooooo much worse than the last time I watched it, which was probably 10+ years ago.

        I guess I am “lucky” that even though I’ve always wanted to be a mother, I haven’t always wanted to be the mother that makes homemade treats and does all the Pinterest things. I do enjoy cooking and baking and crafts and things, but I also enjoy having the option to just buy all that stuff and not feel guilty about it. While it is lovely when my son brings home a handmade goodie bag from a daycare party, I don’t think “I’m a crappy mom” I think “Wow, someone’s going overboard for a Valentine’s party for 2 year olds”.

    • I agree that women can’t do it all. I agree that men aren’t held up to the same standards as women.

      My beef with the whole debate though is that everyone is working harder than they were in 1980 and is still at the same wage level. The price of housing, education, and medical care is much higher and there is less of a safety net (is anyone under 40 really relying on Social Security or a pension for retirement?)

      I would like more argument for trying to let everyone “have a little more” before committing to 60 hour work weeks and 10 days of paid sick/vacation leave.

      • Silvercurls :

        + 1,000. Contemporary society has become a rat race for almost everyone. (Well, it has always been a rat race for those not deemed above being disempowered, underpaid, underprivileged, overworked and overlooked; aka folks not seen by the powers that be as “folks like us” (which in the U.S. has until recently meant educated, financially comfortable if not wealthy, usually white, male, and not a member of any religious minority). But now these indignities have expanded to include most of the middle class.

        These aren’t original observations. (I’ll credit my friends, my own limited experiences of economic difficulty, and various sources and teachers along the way.) Fortunately, there are still pockets of people who care about community, human connection, a healthy work/life balance and basic human dignity for themselves and others. Also fortunately, these people come in all sizes, shapes, and affiliations. We aren’t all easily summarized as “liberal” or “progressive” or “religious” or “conservative.” This is a good thing because it’s a complicated complex world and we’re all stuck in it, hopefully working to get along without conflict rather than working ourselves and everybody else up to heights of rage, conflict, and destruction.

        Yes, I’ve got events in the Middle East and Israel on my mind. But whether it’s religious wars, culture wars, or mommy wars, to quote Rodney King, can’t we all just get along?

    • “It’s often noted that nobody ever asks men if they can “have it all”…males have been running companies (or empires) while having families for a long, long time.

      “So when we say, can women have it all (even at the same time), that isn’t what we’re actually asking. We are asking can women DO it all. And of course they can’t, no one can. Men never have, that’s why they had wives and secretaries/admin assistants”

      Yes! This is it, absolutely. The next time one of the male partners at my firm, who is about to have a third child, is asked “how do you think you’ll manage it all! Will you go part time?” I’ll know that we live in an equal* society. Think I’ll be waiting awhile.

      *Intentionally simplistic.

  5. Why is the weekly news roundup on a Monday? Now I really want to the weekend.

    • I know, I’m already grumpy that the long weekend went by so quickly!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      It was also Frugal Monday this morning. Bring on the weekend!

    • hoola hoopa :

      I know, I’m so confused! And this morning it was Frugal Monday instead of Frugal Friday / Splurge Monday. I loved the silk top, but I’m feeling like Kat/Kate’s playing with my mind.

      • Hey there, sorry for any confusion! We’ve traditionally taken a four-day vacation for the Fourth but did something a little different this year; instead of having nothing new today, we used Stephanie’s “frugal” pick and moved the news post to today. Back to normal tomorrow, though!

  6. hoola hoopa :

    I enjoyed the Laugh of the Week immensely. Haha! I know someone who successfully pulls off #5 and it drives me insane.

    • Flying Squirrel :

      It irks me that the “engineer” is described as male in that example, though. It also irks me that it perpetuates the stereotype that engineers are esoteric that no one understands (but are apparently universally smart).

    • I’ve been known to do 1, 2, 7, and 8 (but not all in the same meeting)… Magical stuff, really. And as of #1, just about any complex flow chart works as well as a Venn diagram. Even a table will do – as long as there is a graphic component. Depends on the subject matter.

  7. Anon For This :

    I am going to the doctor to ask about recent weight gain, as ladies here recommend. What should I ask about? Thyroid?

    • Yes. Also, stress manifesting as metabolic syndrome – should show up in your blood sugar and cholesterol numbers. Also, any possibility (don’t kill me) you might be pregnant?

      • Anon For This :

        Good suggestion! And no on the second – I triple checked, but they’ll probably check too.

  8. Ride a Bike to Work Now and Then :

    Did anyone else think the skirt on a bike hack was wildly useless? How about bike shorts under your skirt and call it a day instead of wrinkling the skirt into oblivion?

    • I don’t know, I might do it in a pinch.

    • Bike commuter :

      I bike to work in a skirt most days and I thought it was useless. If you sit on the seat with the skirt under your butt, it basically pins down the skirt in that formation anyway. And if the skirt is much looser, it naturally falls in a way that covers you. And it doesn’t solve the pencil skirt problem, which is that you have the hike the skirt up too far in order to ride in it. I guess if you were riding in a short loose skirt, it might help you, but I would never wear such a skirt to work!

      • Wildkitten :

        Wouldn’t the looser skirt fall in such a way that it gets caught in the bike?