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United We Are a Force, and Individually We are W.O.N.

Image Courtesy of Dana Clark Epstein

Women of Note celebrates the unique talents of women of Hampton Roads and seeks to raise awareness of issues women face in the 21st century. We are well aware of the many hats women wear throughout the day as well as throughout their lives and we would like to give women the opportunity to share their experiences juggling these with our community. By sharing our experiences, we hope to inspire others, learn from their perspectives, and foster a dialogue that creates solutions. Today we spot light Dana Clark Epste

Affiliation(s) (past and present):

Owner Baker's Wife Bistro+Bar and The Grey Goose

How long have you been (working in/participating in) your field? How did you get into it?

34 years

How long have you been working/ living in in Hampton Roads?

My entire life! 51 years

What advice would you give young women going into your field?

You will need to be smarter and work harder than your counterparts. Be above reproach, do it right the first time and willing to soak up everything you can like a giant sponge!

Does your gender influence your relationship to your work? In what way?

Absolutely! The culinary field is very physical and tends to be male dominated. As a woman, I know that I have always tried to stay physically strong as a way to "fit in" and earn my keep.

Have you faced challenges in your field because of your gender or have you found your gender to be an asset? What kinds of challenges or advantages, and how have they affected your life?

Both! Kitchens are a crazy place sometimes with the high volume and stress. Sexual harassment was a big issue in the past and harder to understand and address for my younger self. Acknowledging gender stereotypes, being a woman in a kitchen is helpful when it comes to multi tasking, cleanliness and creativity.

Any closing thoughts?

The culinary field has grown so much in my 30+ years and become much more of a place of equality and acceptance. Diversity is celebrated for the unique background it provides as well as the exciting meals it creates!

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