For understanding that unisex workwear simply doesn't fit women, or their needs
Before becoming an entrepreneur, Jodi Huettner accepted a “no” when she heard one. During nearly four years as a junior field engineer at Keystone Environmental, she chafed, literally, at the ill-fitting safetywear designed for men’s bodies. That clothing also made it nearly impossible to quickly go to the bathroom during a shift in the field. Her options were not good: lost productivity by traveling long distances to a the bathroom, chronic dehydration caused by avoiding liquids for 16-hour shifts, and bladder issues from holding her pee all day.
Huettner spent a year developing coveralls with zippered leg seams for modesty during a quick pee in the field, an adjustable waist, and proportions that fit a woman’s body, all while meeting safety standards. Her company, Helga Wear, is now developing specialized gear for female pilots. Now, when Huettner hears a no, she thinks about how to go “above or around” that person. “Whatever the excuse may be, there’s always someone out there who’s going to turn the story around for you. You’ve just got to find them,” Huetter says. –Gabrielle Bienasz