Magazine article Working Mother

The Mommy, Not the Nanny

Magazine article Working Mother

The Mommy, Not the Nanny

Article excerpt

With her dark hair and deep complexion, Phebe Neely has gotten used to the fact that when she's out with her blond, blue-eyed daughter, people often mistake her for the nanny. "They even ask me my rate," Phebe laughs. The fact that 4-year-old Maria looks more like her Caucasian father than her Filipino mother means her mom has one more case of mistaken identity on her hands. "I definitely throw people off," says Phebe, who's half Filipino and half Irish American. "Many assume I'm Latina or African American." The misperceptions Phebe faces mean she makes sure that even when she and Maria travel locally, she has her daughter's passport and all her papers on hand. "I'm afraid," says Phebe, "that one day they'll think I'm kidnapping her."

Women of color are no strangers to misperceptions, especially in the workplace. That's why we decided to find out what white men-who account for more than half of all managers and nearly three quarters of all CEOs-really think about the multicultural women who work for them (see page 87). …

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