My Life as a Little Person
This month we’re recognizing Dwarfism Awareness Month and raising awareness on the contribution of Little People to social diversity in the workplace and community. Take a walk in the shoes of our amazing Account Executive Lucy Woika and her story.
Although I’m the shortest person at Egnyte, I’m definitely not the quietest or smallest in personality.
I’m loud and I love to talk a mile a minute about all sorts of things especially about food, funny movies, my kid and Egnyte. In case you don’t know me, I’m an Account Executive on the West Coast/Best Coast Small Business Sales team, and I have the best job ever! I get to talk to people who are interested in making their lives easier and their companies more productive. My job includes making their day by setting them up with Egnyte and looping in the awesome A-Team who can answer their questions and make sure they’re fully set up correctly. My teammates rock! I love working in a collaborative environment where teammates help each other and also like to have fun. Everyone is so supportive, helpful and the product continues to become more advanced and impressive every week!
I started at Egnyte as a Sales Development Rep (the person who cold calls companies to spark interest and set up meetings) two years ago and was promoted to Account Executive earlier this year. I’m thankful for the skills and training I received as an SDR which taught me how to work hard, creatively think about who could use Egnyte next and persevere through the No to get the YES! Ask any of my family or friends, they’ll tell you that Sales has always been my dream because I’ve always wanted a job where I can talk all day (I’m working on the listening part later).
I’m the shortest person at Egnyte because I have Achondroplastic Dwarfism, a genetic mutation, which makes my torso average height but my arms and legs short for a rockin’ 4’2” height. As October is Dwarfism Awareness Month, my goal for writing this blog is to spread awareness about my medical condition in case anyone has questions or is curious about it. If you’d like to learn more, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’m always happy to talk and answer your questions - feel free to ask me anything.
In my personal life, my parents and two younger sisters are all average height. My husband, Ben, works as a Solutions Architect consultant and is also a little person from an average height family. Our son, Darius, is ten months old and a little person like us. We live a pretty normal life in Pittsburgh, PA (eating too much good food, checking out fun nature spots and food festivals, watching too much Netflix, and chilling with our 9 turtles and 10 frogs). I’m now working remote on the East coast which is exciting, but I miss seeing the team every day. Thank goodness for Stride!
Being physically different has its challenges - people can be rude, hurtful but mostly stupid. I’m not a huge fan of people pointing, staring, laughing, making rude comments and taking a picture of me. On the flip side, I totally understand that some people are curious and I’m always fine with answering questions and returning a random wave. In terms of terminology, “Little person” and “dwarf” are common and preferred terms. The only word I find offensive is “midget” because it is a derogatory term often linked with discrimination and freak shows. If you want to be cool, lots of little people use the term “LP” for a little person and “AP” for someone of average height.
I love working at Egnyte. I love the people and the product and I’m thankful to work at such a great company full of amazing people in a supportive and inclusive environment. It’s always fun to meet other Egnyters because we’re constantly growing. I appreciate your time and I’m always here to talk about Egnyte, dwarfism or how amazing Reese’s candy or Bob’s Burger TV show is. Thanks!
Fun Facts about Dwarfism
- Dwarfism is a genetic mutation that occurs randomly in 1/10,000 births. There are over 200 different types. (I have Achondroplasia like Peter Dinklage)
- People with dwarfism are usually no taller than 4 foot 10 inches.
- 80% of Little People are born to average sized parents. Anyone can have a child with dwarfism.
- Preferred terms for my condition are “dwarf”, “little person”, “person of short stature”.
- The word “midget” is considered highly offensive because it is a derogatory term often linked with disrespect, discrimination and freak shows.
- People with dwarfism live full lives and often have successful careers, such as doctors, lawyers, and teachers and in my case, sales reps!
If you see another little person in the future, I encourage you to smile, say hi. I love meeting new people and I’m happy to talk about my dwarfism. Please feel free to ask me any questions. Have a nice day!
For more information about dwarfism, check out this brochure.
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