Weekly News Update

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The Careerist, who previously scoffed at a study that suggested senior men avoid sponsorship/mentorship roles with younger women to avoid the perception of illicit relationships, now reports in with some real emails she got from men who make a policy to avoid women for just that reason. Joy. Meanwhile: Working Mother has a great article on the differences between sponsorship, mentorship, career counseling, affinity groups, and more.  (I can’t find it online, but the Feb/March issue also looks at the top 50 companies that have institutionalized sponsorship and more successfully.)
– Over at CapHillStyle, Belle wonders how to tell a staffer her skirt is too short.
YouLookFab reviews a guide to buying pearls.
WSJ’s The Juggle looks at a study that suggests that paternity leave hurts women — because men use the time to advance their careers instead of doing child care.
Great on the Job advises interns on the proper way to ask for feedback (and actually get it).
Wisebread rounds up 6 ways to get more done on airplanes.  Meanwhile, Extra Petite does some of the most minimalist packing I’ve ever seen for business travel.  Oh, and Forbes Woman has tips for traveling (for fun) as a single lady.
– Interesting:  if anyone is thinking of applying to Harvard Business School, the WSJ has a profile of Dee Leopold, the woman you’ll have to go through to get in.
Savvy Sugar looks at 5 systems for getting stuff done.

Did we miss anything? Add ’em here, or send them to [email protected] Thank you!


  1. pastel denim? :

    What do you all think of the trend? I usually don’t buy in to trends, but for some reason this one is luring me in. For those that have some that they like, what brand/cut are they?

    • Anonylawyer :

      Love pastel denim! I have some darker colored denim that I got this fall. I totally plan to get pastel denim for the spring. I really like the Guess Brittney jeans.

    • Eloise Speghetti :

      I wish I could afford to buy a bunch of these! I love it.

    • Goosebumpy :

      Love this trend. I have DL 1961 Angel jeans in Sherbet. And despite the fact that I’m almost 30, I love the fit of American Eagle’s jeggings. They’ve got a ton of cute colors for spring.

    • I got enough of it in the 80s and 90s, but hey, I wouldn’t begrudge anyone wearing if they liked it.

  2. Great segment on NPR right now about whether there is an “ambition gap” between boys and girls. Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter; other really fantastic books) is one of the panelists. A lot of discussion about how girls feel so much pressure from a very young age to “look hot” all the time, and so much desire to be liked by their peers that they’ll refrain from speaking up or standing out just to make sure they fit in. Also mentioned the Sheryl Sandberg Ted talk. I’ll post a link later.

    • What show was this on?

      • It’s on Forum right now. Here’s a link where they will post the audio later on.


    • This is the exact reason why I believe so strongly in all girls high schools. No need to look “hot” for the other classmates. The most thought I put into my outfit on any given day was which boxer shorts to wear under my uniform skirt, and whether my socks matched!

      • Goosebumpy :

        This this THIS. And it was so cool to be smart at my all-girls high school.

  3. locomotive :

    clothing related threadjack: what do you ladies think about this dress (link to follow)? I’m going to my college reunions this summer. Our colors are orange and black and people dress up extremely ostentatiously for it. I wanted to get something that incorporates orange and black but hopefully could be worn elsewhere (like to work)! I’m caught between thinking this is a really cool sheath and that this is just too out there. I’m not good with fashionable clothing!

    • lucy stone :

      Wear it. I have friends that went to that college and have seen their pictures from Reunions and I think it’d fit in just fine.

    • Tigertown grad :

      I love it. Go for it. I’m tempted to buy for mine! (not this year)
      And pray for no rain!

  4. locomotive :


    • heatherskib :

      I like it.

    • Former MidLevel :

      I think this is adorable – definitely not too “out there.” It could definitely be work-appropriate with a blazer or cardigan. And you could dress it up with jewelry, etc. for your reunion.

    • It’s nice, and I like the owls.

    • Anon Canadian :

      I think it would be way too out there for a conservative office, even if you tried to tone it down with a blazer or cardigan. For a more casual office though, I think it would be fabulous! (Not my personal tastes but I can see another woman rocking it)

    • I love this. And if my healthy thighs didn’t make sheath dresses a pipedream, I would buy it and wear it with gray tights and gray pumps.

      Is this for Princeton’s reunion like the book American Wife describes?!?!

      • locomotive :

        haha, yes! I just graduated last year and always admired all the women who showed up in awesome and unexpected orange and black outfits. Reunions is all the way in June but people are planning already. Thanks everyone! I just pulled the trigger and got it.

    • This is an awesome dress! and a classy but unique way to wear orange and black. You should definitely get it, and then ROCK IT!

    • I love it, but it is a loud dress – it depends on your office if it is too out there.

      • Tigertown grad :

        What is frightening is that as a Princeton grad exposed to years of reunions, I don’t see it as in even the same neighborhood as “loud.”

    • Love! Orange & Black…are you a Princetonian?

    • love love love!

    • Get it! I love it, and I think with a gray or white blazer and gray pumps it would be fantastic for work.

  5. Hello hive! Long-time (daily, sometimes hourly) lurker with a burning question. I’m in my early 30s and blessed with for most of my life relatively clear skin and very few lines. I discovered the appearance of crow’s feet/lines around my eyes (especially when I smile) this morning and realized that I better get on the eyecream bandwagon. I’ve been meaning to for years but just haven’t gotten around to it. Have you ladies found that an eye cream like Origins Ginzing or the Clinique one helps with lines as well, or are they mostly for depuffing, brightening, etc.?

    • For lines, use retinol. I like RoC.

    • I think the creams you mention are mostly for depuffing/brightening, though of course any moisturizer is going to help a bit. I really like the Origins’ mimosa starting over eye cream for lines – although I am only 30 and not too many lines and also just started using it recently so can’t say that it “worked,” but I do feel like it’s “working.”
      I use RoC before and it irritated my eyes not sure if I am just overly sensitive. I would also add that it’s important to find something that you just like because unless I enjoy using a product (smell, texture, etc.) it’s hard for me to be consistent with using it (I’m looking at you, Philosophy Hope in a Jar!)

    • I don’t think you can really get rid of existing lines, but you can try to prevent new ones from forming. I wear a moisturizing eye cream during the day, and at night I use an antioxidant serum that should prevent wrinkles (obviously it’s hard to tell if it’s working, but I haven’t noticed any new wrinkles in the year I’ve been using it). I always wear glasses or sunglasses and mine are coated with SPF, but if you don’t wear glasses, you should use an eye cream with sun protection.

  6. Eh I disagree with caphillstyle. I’m kind of sick of you have to couch every correction to a baby female with love so they don’t get hurt. I’d say, privately, hey Bob, you need to wear a tie to work. he’d say oh I’m so sorry, it won’t happen again. and I’d say no harm done. I’d say to Mary, hey Mary, your skirt is too short for the office, it needs to be around knee length. She should say the same thing as Bob, and I would say the same thing back. I don’t think I need to bring her to coffee and first list all the things she’s doing right. A too short skirt is a professional mistake. So you alert her to it and move on. It’s a wrong choice they made, it is not like something they have no control over.

    • so anonymous :

      That’s a good way to look at it. Don’t let it become a power trip or an opportunity to micromanage that person’s career as a whole. If someone has violated a dress code, let her know.

      • Right I don’t get where all the hand wringing comes from. I think it should be like telling a junior employee about any other mistake they make. I’m not going to list all your positive attributes before I tell you you used the wrong heading for a document. Just fix it. And if it keeps happening, that’s when we have a sit down about it.

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      Oh, I totally agree and I wish that my boss would do that at my office. I think he is just too oblivious to notice that his secretary wears flip flops on Fridays and has visible toe rings; that another secretary wears miniskirts and tries to make up for it by wearing black tights; or that another one frequently looks like she has just rolled out of bed.

      • Toe rings? That’s still a thing?

        I’m totally guilty of wearing a short skirt with opaque tights…

        • Barrister in the Bayou :

          Yes toe rings. I have no other words really.

          But do you work in a law firm and frequently have interaction with clients and sometimes other attorneys and/or physicians? If you do, can you get me a job? ;-)

          • I’m a lawyer… I don’t wear short skirts for big meetings, obviously, and my office is fairly casual. But a few weeks ago I was wearing my short, a-line, bright orange skirt with exposed zipper and the chairman of our board happened to be in the office for a surprise visit. I managed to avoid being seen by him.

            I do love that skirt, though. It’s the one from Ann Taylor last season. And I have short legs, so a short skirt isn’t that short on me.

      • I frequently show up to work looking like I just rolled outta bed. But it’s called “field attire”. The joys of maintaining two distinct wardrobes for work.

      • phillygirlruns :

        oh, toe rings! there is so much about late-90’s/early-2000’s fashion that i i get all nostalgic about…like toe rings. and tattoo chokers. and those glove-socks with separate tubes for each of your toes (i called them “toe socks,” but that can’ t possibly be the correct name for them).

        • oh those toe socks are back. if you wear the toe shoes you can get toe socks for them.

    • ITA. If a woman is adult enough to have a job or internship, she’s adult enough to hear a straightforward statement that certain things can be improved upon in her presentation. It does no favors to feminism to act as if adult women are too delicate to accept criticism of their clothing without it being presented as “therapy” which requires coffee and a conversation.

    • Agreed. I like Belle’s blog a lot but her beauty routine advice is always way too intense for me and her work advice always strikes me as totally fine but not the way I’d do it.

  7. On the Careerist article:
    “…one way for women to nip gossip in the bud is to adopt a “personal policy of not dating people with whom you work, and let people know about it.” ”

    What if you are married? I can’t go around and tell people that I don’t date coworkers, because I don’t date. Still there was a rumor going around for the longest time about me and a coworker and my boss decided to address it by telling us we aren’t allowed to talk to one another anymore (works great when you are handling the same projects together).

    • Yeah, I didn’t see how that would help things, either. Even in places where co-worker dating is strictly forbidden, it’s still possible that people will do it, and everyone knows that. It’d be great if people could completely turn off their sexual being-ness for the workplace (OK, no, it probably wouldn’t), but they can’t.

    • Wow, that seems like a really awkward move by your boss. I wish people with authority would just shut down those conversations. “Wow, you seem to have a lot of time to worry about people’s personal lives, let me find something for you to do.” Women shouldn’t have to profess who they will and will not date; I’m hired to do a job so I do it. The rest shouldn’t matter and any comments on the topic detract from that statement.

      If I were you, I would meet any rumors with a “not that it’s any of your concern, but I’m happily married.” But sounds like you work with a**holes, so that wouldn’t go over very well.

  8. Eloise Speghetti :

    If you were traveling alone, where would you go?

    • I like the beach alone. Most of the time during the day, I want to sit and read/sleep outside/listen to music, all things that don’t require another person. Evenings are nice because you can explore the town or just curl up in your hotel room and watch the trashy tv your loved ones normally judge!

      I love Southern California for a solo beach trip.

    • On horseback around Iceland – my childhood travel dream.

      • Eloise Speghetti :

        No WAY! I was going to say Iceland just because I thought no one would go with me but now that I know people like Iceland…I want to say machu pichu.

        • You probably won’t see this now that the next thread opened up, but I spent 10 days in Iceland. Its awesome. People would TOTALLY go with you. :-)

        • There is an Iceland bandwagon, and I have been on it for years (as have many others). But I’d stay on it if I were you; Machu Picchu is so played.

          *Kanye shrug*

    • Tokyo. I’d also bring massive empty suitcases. Shopping is a dream there, and it’s a super-safe city. Hardly any street crime.

    • I am virtually always traveling alone (friends’ tastes in vacation are too different), and my next trip is hiking in Scotland! I’m hoping to go to Turkey next year.

    • Ireland!

  9. Thanks for the pearls shout-out, Kat!

  10. The study reported on at the WSJ is based on a survey of “181 married, heterosexual, tenure track professors with children under age two” and was conducted a decade ago. Speaking as a university professor who has previously worked in a corporate environment, I feel confident in saying that being an academic is MASSIVELY unlike most corporate jobs, so it is absolutely not representative of the broader world of work. As a professor your job basically involves: 1) publishing research, 2) teaching, and 3) admin / service, so less time on 2 & 3 leaves more time for 1 – no wonder the surveyed academics who haven’t just given birth spend their leave publishing, because I would if I were them.

    This research is relevant to debates about paternity leave for Professors and broader gender equity policies (caveats: the research happened a decade ago so the findings may be out of date, and also why in god’s name did they take a decade to publish the results?! Very fishy IMHO), but since virtually no other professionals have careers that rely heavily on publishing research it isn’t relevant for other fields. The behavior they describe only makes sense in the context of academia. I could poll friends who have shifted between academic & corporate world & I’m 99.9% sure they’d say the same.

    Let’s say that again to be clear: there is absolutely no reason to believe that the findings of this research apply to any career outside academia. The only reason to generalize about the findings beyond academia, as the WSJ does, is if you: a) are an incompetent who doesn’t understand that something can be true of a small, weird sample but not at all representative, i.e. it’s untrue for a broader group, or b) are dishonestly promoting an agenda by mis-representing the evidence. I’ll leave it to others to judge is the WSJ is incompetent or dishonest.