Episode 90: Working with Asperger's

I’m not afraid to have hard conversations with people. And I think that’s where my autism benefits me, because I don’t have that internal dread of having difficult conversations.
— Tina Alberino

This is a mini-episode. It sprang from my conversation with Tina Alberino, who featured in the last show on the beauty business. She surprised me at the end of our interview by mentioning she was awkward with people. I'd just had an animated 40 minute conversation with her, so I probed, and this short show is the result. 

Episode 89: Inside the Beauty Business

Salon owners will use intimidation because they can. They understand that a lot of the women they hire - we have a lot of single mothers, we have a lot of women who are in households that depend on their income even though it isn’t very much.
— Tina Alberino
Photo by Marili Forastieri/DigitalVision / Getty Images
Photo by Marili Forastieri/DigitalVision / Getty Images
I’ve had to tell my bosses a few times, ‘You keep pulling this kind of stuff on me I will leave.’ And mean it.
— Catherine, salon worker

Self-care. You hear that phrase all the time if you're a professional woman. We're all urged to care for ourselves, to take time to do yoga, go to the gym, maybe indulge ourselves with a little beauty treatment once in a while. Many of us get something done on a regular basis - from a haircut to waxing. But how often do we think about the working conditions of the women who work on us? In this show we take a look inside the beauty business - and it isn't pretty. 

tina alberino

My guests are one of my listeners, spa and salon worker Catherine, and beauty industry consultant and educator Tina Alberino. She writes and publishes ThisUglyBeautyBusiness.com and is the author of The Beauty Industry Survival Guide.

Episode 88: Selling Empowerment

What about your average consumer who’s watching Kim Kardashian or who has no clue as to what empowerment means and what feminism is or why it matters to them? So my goal is really to set out to create the world’s most accessible women’s conference.
— Claudia Chan
They’re really based on this philosophy of you can just work to improve yourself, make yourself better, smarter, stronger. But the fact is as long as women are fighting these little solo battles I don’t think a lot is going to change.
— Sheelah Kolhatkar

sheelah kolhatkar

I've been to several women's conferences during the last few years. They were glamorous affairs with a high dose of inspiration. Earlier this year, I read Sheelah Kolhatkar's Business Week article asking whether women's conferences actually did anything for women long term...or if they ultimately just made us feel good. 

Claudia chan

For this show I talk to Sheelah Kolhatkar and to Claudia Chan, CEO of SHE Global Media and founder of the SHE Summit, one of the conferences I've attended. Claudia is, naturally, a strong believer in the power of these conferences and what they can do for women.  

You can also read a transcript of the show.

Have you attended a women's conference? Did it have a lasting effect? Tell me in the comments. 

Further reading: Here's a post I wrote about the SHE Summit's 'He for She' panel, which I referenced during the podcast. 

Episode 87: Work and Intimacy (part 2)

Culturally, what we see as really important is productivity, status, position, achievement – women are so achievement focused. And my feeling is you have to decide, how do you want to live your life?
— Evelyn Resh

This is the second part of my conversation with Evelyn Resh. In this show we consider why it's important to prioritize your spouse over your children (most of the time), how the work/sex dynamic works in gay relationships, and why Evelyn hasn't been taking her own advice lately - and how she's trying to change that. 

You can also read a transcript of the show.

Episode 86: Work and Intimacy (part 1)

We are working more and many of us are working for less money, and that takes a toll on people’s self-care practices, including paying attention to their intimate lives.
— Evelyn Resh

Remember sexuality counselor Evelyn Resh from episode 19, Women, Work, and Sex? She's back. In this show we take another look at what our 24/7 work lives do to our intimate lives, and what we can do about it. 

evelyn resh

We had so much to talk about I decided to divide the conversation in two. The next one will come out next week. 

You can also read a transcript of the show.

Further reading:

Women, Sex, Power & Pleasure, by Evelyn Resh.

Which Country Has the Most Productive Workers? via Inc.com.

Episode 85: Far From Home - Women in Aid

I once had to deal with two male staff, one of whom was accusing the other of threatening to kill him using witchcraft...I have to take it seriously and not disregard that person’s feelings and fears.
— Jessica, aid worker
Photo by SimplyCreativePhotography/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by SimplyCreativePhotography/iStock / Getty Images

A lot of us give to causes we care about. But how many of us ever think about the workers at some of these nonprofits - aid organizations like Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, or Oxfam? The aid world is full of women, and in this show we meet one of them. 

Work/life balance? Not easy when you and your partner need a UN helicopter to visit one another. The job can be physically grueling and also dangerous. Sexual harassment is common. But the work is also rewarding and challenging in ways my guest couldn't have imagined.  

You can also read a transcript of the show.

Further reading:  Why gender matters - but not just gender - in aid work by University of Southampton sociology professor Silke Roth (a 4-page paper). She's also the author of The Paradoxes of Aid Work - Passionate Professionals. 

This piece by Megan Norbert is about her sexual assault by another aid worker, and the relative lack of response. 

Reporttheabuse.org contains aid workers' personal accounts of harassment and assault. It was started after Norbert wrote about her experience.