I'm Not Just a Pretty Face

by admin 11. July 2013 11:01

Dear Jane,

One of the partners that I work with regularly and really like asked me to come to a client meeting because they need a “pretty face” at the meeting. I’m excited to attend the meeting but a bit offended by the comment. What should I do?

Not Going To Say Anything Because I Want To Go

 

Dear Not Going to Say Anything Because I Want To Go,

         The comment is not OK, even if the partner’s intent when it was said was to be funny or complimentary (in a very backhanded and awkward way).  If you do nothing about the comment, the partner (and everyone else who heard it) will think it was OK. And it is not. While acknowledging the risk and awkwardness of saying anything, I encourage you to think about going to the partner (it sounds like you have a good relationship with him/her) and letting the partner know how the comment made you feel. You can, in the same conversation, also let the partner know how much you appreciate the opportunity to attend the client meeting and ask about the role you will play.

Jane DiRenzo Pigott is the managing director of R3 Group LLC, specializing in working with professional service organizations on leadership and change in connection with diversity and inclusion. Before founding R3 Group, she practiced law for more than two decades at large law firms where she chaired a practice group, served on the executive management and compensation committees, and founded and ran diversity initiatives and affinity groups.

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Dear Jane | Women at Work

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