Is it wrong to look sexy at work? This is a HOT topic of discussion on tonight’s episode of Dragons’ Den!
The subject comes up thanks to a pitch by Andrea Clair, who has invented a piece of lingerie she calls the “9-to-5 Bra.” It’s designed to cover a woman’s breasts so that no cleavage is visible, no matter how well-endowed that woman may be. Clair wants the five Canadian multi-millionaires known as the Dragons to invest in her company — and tells them there are lots of buyers for her bra: Women who want to look truly professional.
She’s likely right that if your clothing is too provocative (or even flashy), it makes it more difficult for colleagues to focus on how well you’re doing your job. And that could hinder your chances for advancement. We all want to look good, but maybe not that good.
What is suitable attire for the workplace these days? It naturally differs from industry to industry, and it depends whether you are interacting with customers. For example, people in manufacturing can dress down in a way that those in banking cannot. Those in artistic professions can get away with more outrageous looks.
Of course, a few decades ago, people dressed much more formally — all the time. But ever since the ’60s, there’s been a steady ‘casualization’ of both men and women’s attire.
The Kitchener-Waterloo Record newspaper fought a grievance a while back, after trying to stop the free-fall of workers’ wardrobes. It banned employees from wearing flip-flops, blue jeans, Birkenstocks — or provocative clothing.
The judge ruled that the paper didn’t prove that this clothing would negatively affect the workers’ ability to do their jobs, especially since reporters did wear appropriate clothing to special events.
The bigger issue to my mind, is that how you dress shows how you view yourself. If you’ve decided you’re a sex-bomb, that’s great if you’re aiming for a job at Hooters or Chippendale’s, but it may not lead to promotion in other workplaces.
On the first season of Dragons’ Den, a woman wearing a skimpy bikini tried to get investment to franchise her “Bikini Weinie” hot dog stands. Our female dragon that year, Jennifer Wood, gave her heck, saying she should have dressed professionally, and brought a model to illustrate the business concept.
You’ll see a variety of outfits on tonight’s episode. Does the 9-to-5 bra attract an investment? Do the Dragons agree this is a critical issue?
You’ll have to watch to find out.