Altering Perceptions

Wednesday, December 12, 2020 (29 days left in 2020)

Years ago, I noticed Gary Larson’s work when his sheep cartoon put me into paroxysms of laughter. At that time in my young working life, employment in the huge aerospace industry had me feeling helpless and trapped. Helpless as a non-technical woman in a man’s world, and trapped because I needed the job. Always exploring alternatives, I concluded that interviewers for decently-paying positions preferred candidates with technical expertise and/or a male body. With my liberal arts education and certain physical shape, I wasn’t in demand.

Gradually, women began to comprehend how to lead large organizations that had been built on technical expertise. Slowly, some entered large workplaces in leading roles, and most credited their dads with educating them to a male world of leadership. Their dads encouraged them to be brave. Eventually, women proved capable of leading and organizational rules eased. Women workers were permitted to wear slacks and flats, to travel with male colleagues, to (carefully) express opinions in meetings. As opportunities to support large corporate initiatives expanded for line workers, more men and women, myself included, became unstuck and landed roles that more challenged our minds and imaginations.

My memories of corporate life are ever more active as Joe Biden introduces his administration’s highest-level officials. Important to him are women and people of color. They will be prominent, have power, and alter a long standing social order based on assumption and opinion. The traditional social order segregates individuals into categories, qualifying or disqualifying potential, based on physical characteristics and income levels.

I applaud Joe’s choice for VP and especially that Kamala’s not a token appointee. He’s allowing her an active voice. His additional picks demonstrate forward momentum toward a newly productive, really exciting society. I’ve worried about diminishing opportunities for young people, but in a future that breaks barriers to fairness-for-all, our youth population appropriately will find jobs in leadership and supportive roles.

That’s what drew me to Larson’s “Far Side 2021 Calendar”, to enjoy his observations. Here’s one that recognizes a changing order.

Dear Friends: Biden’s success in the long term depends on his winning the Senate. Diana

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