Battle of the Same Sexes

What’s good for one goose isn’t always great for the gander. Former Fortune 500 saleswoman, Aly Lessor, and her breasts learned that the painful way.

Upon returning to work, the new mother found herself facing increasing pressure not to take breaks to pump breast milk for her newborn daughter. Twice, she was diagnosed with mastitis before demanding her new boss – a woman – give her the breaks she needed.

She was told to gather her belongings and go home.

“It’s not 1970,” Lessor tells PINK, “It was crazy; I couldn’t believe it.”

Her civil rights, as a mother, were violated. So, she fought back.

Lessor sued the company and won $145,000 in mediation, which she used to start her company – CozyBug, a line of cute and comfortable pillowcase dresses for girls. And, even though she’s beyond the pumping days, this new mom-friendly venture allows her to bring her three year-old daughter, Collette, along to buy fabric.

She encourages women fighting for their rights to stand up and seek help when challenged (and to look out for lawyers who will take your case pro bono and get paid only if you win – they’re out there!).

Since launching CozyBug, not only has she been able to pump as she pleases, but Lessor’s line has been picked up by Zulily and 12 local boutiques – in addition to a high profile visit to ABC’s Shark Tank.

“Being a mom is an asset to your career,” says Lessor. It gives you something to work for.

Inspired by her nine month-old son, Jaden, Lessor now has a boys’ line in the works.

What challenges did you face at work as a new mom? Tell us in the comments!

BONUS PINK Link: Preparing for the second phase of your career? Find out how to be a thoughtful leader now; it pays.

By Alison Loughman

“We all have a wonder woman inside us.” Diane von Furstenberg


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