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Culture, Clothes and Pantyhose

Several of my recent blogs and articles have been about company culture, and how it is formed by policy, and by internal habits and behaviors.  So far, I have focused on the more “serious” stuff, like core values, and I wanted to remind everyone that the small, subtle things matter a great deal too.  The everyday behaviors, patterns of informal communication etc. include things like who eats lunch where, and what people wear.Today I spotted a great article that links dress codes and company culture.  The Politics of Pantyhose by “Diversity Diva” Michelle T. Johnson, discusses how company dress codes and expectations influence culture and especially diversity (related to women).  Mentioning the old Ally McBeal show (and Ally’s short skirts), and a Time Magazine Cover from 1998 “Is Feminism Dead?”, Michelle points out how the experience of women in the workplace, the message that companies want to give about women, and the perception of a woman’s “place” in the corporate hierarchy are all impacted by dress codes.  If you require pantyhose, do you require your men to wear socks a certain way?  Michelle’s take on attire enlightened me on an aspect of company culture that I hadn’t thought about, so I encourage you to read it too.  It will open up your perspective