"Well there's the race layer as well. Indian woman are marketed to by companies selling skin lightening products, hair straighteners or in ways to make us as sexually repressed as possible so that we are pure and clean slates for our husbands. When I was a freshman in college someone told me I needed to get back to my initial shape when I entered college because, as an actor, I would be getting off the bus in New York City and competing with every other black woman for the same role. I'm not black. My first agent said to me, "I have to figure out how to market you as something other than the pretty woman who can sing." - Pallavi Sastry is a actor and filmmaker.
"My father was one of six boys. His mother kept having children because she wanted to have a girl, but she never did. Instead she dressed my father like a girl until he was 5 or 6 years old. Not sure if this is why he was so gentle. My mother was the more hand's on, no nonsense parent - she worked hard and I don't think she ever had a manicure in her life. I was less receptive to the idea of sexism and it wasn't until recently when a female friend, who is a welder, was telling me about how her boss was always trying to get her to smile or laugh at his stupid jokes to gain her approval. She just wanted to get her work done and didn't think it was her job to make the boss feel good or laugh at his jokes. I had a boss once who used to pass by my desk and tell us to smile - it was annoying." - April Greene is a writes about workplace strategy for PlastArc.
"I've had classes where I felt like I had to prove myself. And then I have had classes where I did actually have to prove myself. One time I walked into my Physics II class wearing a pink sorority shirt. My, all male, project group acted as though I was invisible until I loudly asserted myself. But there have been many women and men in the STEM fields who have encouraged me and told me that there is a place for me in Engineering. Though, I don't wear my sorority letters to my Physics class anymore." - Danielle Neighbor is a Truman Scholar studying Engineering at University of Arkansas. She attended the Truman Foundation 40th Anniversary Party that was held at Gracie Mansion earlier this month.