Lisa Tealer no longer cringes when she encounters office furniture that won’t accommodate her size—she just asks for an armless chair if she needs one. When ordering lunch at the company cafeteria, she signs her ticket “Lisa, AKA Queen Diva,” a playful gesture that nonetheless makes a statement about how she sees herself.
“It’s just a small thing,” she says, “but it’s my way of creating my own space.” As the diversity manager for a California biotechnology firm, Tealer has used her considerable talents to create a discrimination-free environment that does not penalize plus-size workers like herself. She knows that prejudice aimed at large employees—who are routinely abused, belittled, and held back because of their body size—is a national problem that has only recently been recognized. Last year, researchers at Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity declared that discrimination against plus-size individuals, especially women, is “as common as racial discrimination.”
If you've got business in what may be this country's most multi-monikered city—Chi-town, also know as the City of Broad Shoulders, the Windy City, Second City, and That Toddling Town—be sure to make time to play as well as work: Chicago's beguiling leisure choices outnumber...
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