Leese Marie, Leese Marie, Leese Marie…oh wait, this isn’t the naming of a soap opera love triangle, but rather a real-life case of conflict between two women who work together in the same office. For those not familiar with the names Leese Marie and Yazmin Frazier, here’s your introduction. At the same law firm in San Francisco, we have one woman named Leese and another named Yazmin, who are both working mothers with about four years on the job each and have about the same level of experience. Why should you care?
Ever wonder how to co-exist with someone who has a different background than you? Well, I found out the hard way. Here’s my story of learning to adjust to working with someone from a different culture, religion and race.
Leese Marie is from Texas, but she was raised by her Haitian parents. She often speaks French Creole at home. Her first name was changed when she went to Haiti for six months when she was 10 years old. When she came back, her American friends couldn’t say it correctly so they called her Leza instead of Leesa (it sounded too similar). Then as she got older, people started calling her Leesa or Leza because they didn’t want to use two syllables when one would do just fine.
Yazmin cader Frazier
It’s no secret that women of color often have to work twice as hard to get half as much recognition. Working with different cultures and ethnicities can lead to confusion, miscommunication, or even discrimination.
But what happens when two women of color have to deal with cultural differences while working together? We spoke with Leese Marie (L) and Yazmin cader Frazier (Y) to hear their experiences as minority women in the workplace, how they managed those difficulties, and what advice they would give other minority women trying to succeed in a white male dominated field.
What is your role at the company?
I am a production coordinator at Leese Marie. As a production coordinator, my main focus is to make sure that everything is running smoothly with production. I also help out wherever needed, so I end up being everywhere but on one person’s specific task.
I’m required to do everything from order new inventory to editing photos for products. My favorite part of my job has to be that it never feels like work because I love what I do!
Yazmin cader frazier
I personally want to add that having been a mom for over ten years, I know that I need my sleep, but really wanted to show myself that I can do it! These are not words you typically hear from a boss but rather they are words of one of her employees, Yazmin Cader Frazier. YZ’s story of juggling life as a single parent while she is trying to establish herself as a lawyer who also manages office operations is inspiring. I am just as tired coming into work at 9pm as I am coming into work at 7am said fr.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
I wake up, get ready for work, eat breakfast, and head to a 9am class at SUNY Farmingdale. After I’m done with that class at 12pm, I rush back to my car for lunchtime traffic. In the summer I don’t have any classes so it’s just running errands around the city until 3pm.
At this time, my sister has already gotten off of work so she picks me up from school or work.
It seems like Leese Marie’s life consists of some free time when she is getting ready for school or work with periods filled with stress at others times during her day.
How do you think about and approach problem solving?
Problem solving for me is about listening to my body, being aware of my thoughts, being open to new information. Problem solving is thinking about what you can do when it feels like you have no choice. – Leese M arie The root of every problem is a lack of awareness or understanding.
Sometimes as a teacher, I need to hear more than just the words students are speaking; I need to be able to feel their pain or anger in order to really help them. This can involve me using tools from disciplines such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) so that we can work through each layer until we find what might be causing them distress or disconnecting them from themselves.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Although we are both strong leaders, one of us is usually responsible for managing our schedule. We make an effort to communicate each morning about what we think our workloads will be like for the day.
Planning ahead for tough days where one of us has a lot on her plate allows for an easy collaboration. At meetings and meetings on other projects, I often take notes as Leese Marie speaks so that she can focus on conversation instead of note-taking; she does the same when it’s my turn to lead a meeting or presentation.
What are some of your favorite things about your job?
I enjoy my work because it’s collaborative, challenging, creative and I am given the opportunity to make a real difference. Plus I have a supportive team who helps me grow. What I like most about Leese Marie is that they’re so open minded; they care deeply about how each person on our team feels.
When I’m at work, there’s no gender imbalance which is something we experience too often as women. They also make sure everyone has what they need to be successful on their job.