An Exec Wanted To Meet Me Because Of My Name. Everything Changed When He Saw Me._freckle removal ktp

Rebecca Morrison·6 min read

"I felt guilty and embarrassed for deceiving him ― as if I had fraudulently coveted my husband’s American identity," the author writes. (Photo: andresr via Getty Images)

You would never know by my name or my accent that I’m from Iran. I “pass” easily on the phone and in writing. I realized the consequences of this for the first time at a conference 15 years ago.

While having drinks at the hotel bar on the first night of the conference, my colleague told me that one of the senior executives was looking for me.

As a transportation lawyer with over a decade of experience, I already felt fairly confident in my field, but still, having this senior level executive interested in meeting me boosted my confidence. I wondered if he had heard about my work. The prospect of meeting him and finding out the source of his interest was exciting.

Being a female lawyer in a male-dominated field has its challenges. But being an Iranian American woman adds more complexities. So having this respected senior executive asking about me felt satisfying.

My friend and I stood at the only open door of the massive ballroom watching the attendees shuffle into the glitzy final event of the conference.

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“Rebecca! Look! There’s the guy I told you about earlier today. His last name is also Morrison,” she said, impressed that this executive wanted to meet her friend. “He’s right there, standing next to the bar. Do you see him?”

“I see him,” I said, standing a little taller.

Wearing my way-too-expensive milk-chocolate pantsuit, I readied myself to meet him. I had made an extra effort to gussy myself up for the banquet, painstakingly plucking my thick eyebrows to accentuate their arches, and conditioning my long, curly, dark hair with a salon-bought cream to resist frizz.

Mr. Morrison was having an animated conversation with another attendee in the crowded gaggle of people waiting to squeeze into the ballroom. I zeroed in on them and saw the attendee pointing at me through the crowd.


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