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The Compromise Trap by Elizabeth Doty, Art Kleiner

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2A Devil’s Bargain by Degrees

I can’t tell you exactly the moment I changed,” Amrita told me as we sat in the spacious den of her colonial mid-Atlantic home. She had retired a month earlier from a position as senior vice president of a global petrochemical company. “I worked in a very competitive culture, and I felt I needed to fit in. First, I gave up the bindi and sari of my Indian heritage.* Gradually, I gave up myself. I tried to act less feminine. As I moved up, I became more and more competitive. Then one day, as I was getting ready for work, I looked in the mirror and I did not recognize my own face—I mean literally. I saw the lines, the tight jaw, and the cold eyes, and I put my hands up in shock. Who have I become? I asked myself. It ...

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