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Many ways to encourage dress codes - send selfies for a bonus

From today's WTF files - Would you send your boss a selfie in a skirt for a bonus?

"He really wants to maintain the female essence in every female employee of the company," Kirillova said. "So that young women do not have male haircuts, do not change into trousers, so that they engage themselves in handicraft, project all their warmth into raising children."

Does your workplace have a dress code?

 

 

3 comments

Linette Atlassian Team Jun 04, 2019

I do not have enough blinks for this. My eyelids just got a serious workout!

I think this quote from the end of the article is indeed wise:

Perhaps the larger lesson of the Russian firm's policy is that "natural" gender roles are so "unnatural" that they need to be consciously imposed. After all, if femininity really is part of women's "essence", then why would a company need to pay women in order for them to display it?

I once got turned down for a telephone based support role, as I wore a suit with a 'mandarin' style collar rather than the regular lapel style. I am soooo thankful about that, as I know the company and I would not have got on.

Every place I've worked has been very flexible with attire, and I like this very much. I can wear jeans and it doesn't impact my ability to do work, but I can also have fancy fridays where I choose to dress up more.

Which reminds me about another key "whaaat?" thing: companies that have 'casual Friday'. If you can do the job dressed casually, then why enforce formality the rest of the week. If it hinders your performance on Friday, then why do it as a company? If the answer is that your employees feel more comfortable, you are confirming that you specifically make them uncomfortable the rest of the time. What's with that?

Like Karen O'Keefe likes this

Oh gosh. This brings back nightmares from most of my career! This passage in particular really resonated with me:

"He really wants to maintain the female essence in every female employee of the company," Kirillova said. "So that young women do not have male haircuts, do not change into trousers, so that they engage themselves in handicraft, project all their warmth into raising children."

I lived and worked in Dayton, Ohio for 27 years. Dayton is deeply conservative, religious, and white. Some of the "highlights."

  • When I was pregnant with my only child (my son, now 38), I tried to find work with a temp personnel company. They took one look at me and said "now come on, we can't send you to our clients looking like THAT! I was married and happy to be pregnant, but apparently being a married pregnant clerk or receptionist was a scandal.
  • For many years (even after these questions were illegal), I was regularly asked about my plans for having more children--and even if I had one whether I would quit and stay home with the kids. I used to assure people that I was "one and done," but various interviewers said things like "I know how you women are." Like we are all the same. Once it became against the law, I gently reminded interviewers for their own good that these questions were illegal, but that just made them end the interview with "well, we're obviously not going to hire you now!"
  • For decades, I worked in places with strict dress codes for women (flats or pumps--closed toes only, pantyhose, dresses or skirts with guidelines about sleeve and hem length--at the knee or just below--no minis or maxis), and requirements for makeup and hair. I can't tell you how many times the fact that I don't wear makeup showed up as criticism in my reviews (not professional-looking)--and there were repeated comments about my shoes, hair, etc. My boss once told me if I wanted to advance in my job, I needed to comply. The fact that I was a technical writer and help developer who NEVER interacted with customers didn't matter. One (female) boss made us all line-up for daily appearance inspections--and would send us home without pay if she found us lacking. FYI...all were commercial business or military contracting companies.
  • In my last job in Ohio (before I moved to the west coast about 10 years ago), I was told I was being laid off not because I wasn't good at my job--but because they didn't want to lay off the guy whose job had been eliminated because "he has a family." I could have sued the company, but I figured being laid off was a gift. I was tired of being criticized for my hair (which is very curly).
  • Thank goodness I moved back to the West Coast, where I haven't had a single problem with my hair, clothes, or lack of make-up. In fact, as we speak, I am wearing capris, sandals, no make-up, and rocking my curly hair--AT WORK.

Funny enough, I live in Dayton Ohio now. Gladly, I haven't ever had to "dress up" for work. I think I would have been royally screwed if I was living in any other time, even 20 years ago! It's insane how much changes in such a small amount of time. I do not own any 'girly' attire and I don't wear makeup (I identify as non-binary), so most dress codes would not work for me. I would have been absolutely miserable in the days of women having to look a certain part. I know this is still an issue around the nation and world, but luckily I haven't been subjected to it. So grateful for this even though it seems like such a small deal!

Thomas Schlegel Community Leader Jul 08, 2019

I remember, during my vocational training at an insurance company, 30 years ago (oh my god...)  we had to wear ties. 

And I remember, the whole company went on a company outing. Except a colleague of mine who didn't wear a tie for the outing... He had to stay at the office. We went to the zoo, I'm sure, the animals appreciated our ties.

But this is a long time ago. We don't have a dress code here at my current employer (although I'm still working for an insurance company). 

Like Amanda Kirk likes this

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