This post was written by Courtney Pierson, our Campus Ambassador from the University of South Carolina.
I believe that all women should be proud of and acknowledge the strides we have made in penetrating traditionally male dominated work fields. Women continue to make up half of the workforce and though many are contained in low pay service jobs, many others are earning degrees and landing positions that were traditionally seen as exclusively for men. According to Forbes.com, accounting and tax preparation positions skew noticeably female, and women are graduating in near equal numbers from law and medical schools. There is a phenomenal amount of resources and literature to inform and advise women on how to transition to a new job position, and how to adjust when you field is dominated by males. One aspect of these occupations that is overlooked is how to maintain your unique, feminine sense of style in an environment overrun with grey slacks and navy suit coats. Here are some tips to do just that!
1. Do not compete with, or copy your coworkers.
Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree with the idea of following the commonly practiced dress rules in the office i.e. formal, business casual, or the Google employee casual. But following the office style does not mean directly. You can absolutely wear a great pair of tailored slacks and nude flats in a business casual atmosphere but you shouldn’t hold back from a statement necklace or a colored blazer.Also, if there happens to be a super fashion forward co-worker of yours, but its just not your thing to spend your Saturdays in the mall, don’t feel pressured to have a bold wardrobe just because you are a woman. You will find people respect you more when you stay true to yourself.
2. Be proud of what you have accomplished both in and out of the office.
We have all heard that men are attracted to confidence when looking for a romantic partner. Think that doesn't translate to the workforce? It absolutely does. Management and co-workers need to see a postured, confident women every day to solidify that you can handle the pressure of a job title that to society, may seem fit for a hard-hitting, problem-solving male. Wear clothes that allow you to move comfortably and gracefully. Avoid boxy, unflattering shapes in order to appropriately showcase the hard work you have put in outside of the office during those early morning workouts.
3. Do not let your clothes distract from your job.
When I say “male dominated” field, I am not talking to the next Diane Von Furstenburg or future editor of Cosmopolitan. You lucky ladies are able to be daring and as I assume, are praised for innovation and creativity in your wardrobe. Someone like myself who hears FOX Sports columnist Jason Whitlock, proclaim that women’s role in sports media is to “look cute while reporting to us that the return of the player who limped off the field is questionable” makes me realize the importance of having a style that doesn’t distract or disturb from my ultimate goal. Flaunting an outlandish attire is not the way to be a respected woman within a predominantly male field such as the sports industry.
All in all, being successful and educated in a profession that is traditionally male dominated should be accepted with praise and respect. However, being outnumbered or underrepresented can put a target on your back for any mistake in today’s competitive workforce. So wear clothes that make you look poise, professional, and positively qualified to handle whatever comes your way.
“A woman should be two things: classy and fabulous”
Comment below if you have any other tips. We would love to hear them!