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She first met Terzakis at the University of New Hampshire when Hayes returned to school a few years ago, determined to finish her degree in political science.
She now lives in a rented apartment with her partner, Whitney, and works as a customer care manager at a Chevrolet dealership in Concord, where 80% of the employees are men. (She admits she drives a Hyundai, not a Chevy.)
“I wish gender wasn’t such an issue, but I know we are a long way from that. I am constantly reminded of that as someone who works in a male-dominated industry like the car business.”
She likes her job. “I feel like I can pretty much hold my own,” she tells me over a dinner of tomatoes, mozzarella and seared ahi tuna.
But she says she knows she isn’t paid what her male counterparts make. That bothers her. So does the fact that she is in sales. She wants someday to be employed in public service. She, like Terzakis, grew up in a home that stressed the importance of giving back.
“I’ve paid a lot of attention to the way candidates speak about public assistance,” she says. “Americans make social programs out to be negative. I know there are people who take advantage of these programs – I see some pretty aggressive remarks on social media — but they help a lot of people.”
Hayes is astounded sometimes by things her female co-workers say. One said she didn’t care if her employer’s health insurance didn’t pay for contraceptives. That made Hayes think, like Terzakis, that younger women do not appreciate how hard-won certain rights for women were.
“I feel like it’s going to take, unfortunately, this generation to lose some of the rights we’ve all grown up with to get women thinking,” she says.
Women in the Granite State The contenders
- Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat (incumbent)
- Scott Brown, Republican