“I want to walk in the room and be seen as fierce and somebody who’s not going to back down so instantly,” a female executive headed into an important meeting said. Her black dress and zippered, black leather jacket made a powerful presentation. “I never would have worn pastels today.”
Attractiveness, for women based on hairstyle, makeup, fitness and clothing, is important. Attractive women and men earn about 20% more than their less lovely coworkers. Attractive women must be well-groomed. Handsome men, on the other hand, can be sloppy and still earn more pay.
Women and people of color who want to be seen as competent and worthy of respect are not likely to wear khakis and loafers to work. Not even on casual Fridays.
Once women have their wardrobes up to snuff, there’s still the issue of equal pay. New York State has devised a Salary Negotiation Guide, which can help working women learn how to ask (or demand) what they’re worth.