Their faces were caked with color, like they had heard of make up and tried to use it, but weren't quite sure what went where. -- OohLookShiny
This is space - theoretically, there's room for everyone. The only caveat is that most times, you have to build it. This is Ambassador Jess. She is negotiating with the owners of an otherwise boring asteroid so she can turn it into a semi-profitable habitat. This is the problem - the owners belong to Greater Deregulation South.
On their last teleconference, the leader of the GD pack of CEOs had told her that she and her crew "had better look professional" when they turned up for a face-to-face or the deal might be off. Jess, not knowing what the hell that phrase meant, had looked it up. Considering that she passed all the Galactic's low bars, she looked up the Deregulation version.
Greater Deregulation South tolerated females, in the same way that they tolerated bad weather or ill fortune. They had to happen to someone, but if it was pretty, then it could be tolerated easier. Which lead Jess, the Ambassador for Sapphos V, to eventually find out that this was using make-up and soft, flowy dresses. Two things that hadn't really mattered to either her or her team.