Use Everything You Own to Your Advantage, Including Your Wardrobe
Here are a few facts that may shock (and perhaps even anger) your senses: In 2009, a female’s average weekly earnings were only 80.2% of the men’s weekly average income. Women who were African American, Hispanic, Asian or of another race experienced even a larger wage gap. While some think it’s a difference of professional and perhaps even degrees, that’s not necessarily the case. Female attorneys earned 25% less than their male counterparts, female teachers earned 14% less than male teachers and female nurses earned 5% less than male nurses. The same gaps exist even between those with doctorate degrees, says Pay-Equity.org.
While these numbers are frustrating, the good news is that it’s sparked dialogue about wage disparities. In addition to discussing these issues and working toward a solution, women can also take control of their paychecks by using everything they can to their advantage. That includes the skills learned while obtaining their degrees, hands on experience at internships and, yes, their wardrobes.
Sheri Cole, the executive director of The Career Wardrobe, told Forbes.com that “it’s important to understand the culture of the company you work for, especially any quirks and expectations the company has regarding wardrobe.”
Cole suggests studying what the powerful women in your life wear. That woman could be your boss, a future boss, a colleague or even the CEO of a major company. You’ll likely learn more about dressing professionally from these women than you will from a fashion magazine.
Invest in wardrobe staples and basics that are timeless and flattering. They’ll give you the most bang for your buck since they’re less likely to go out of style. Other tips include: wearing quality, polished shoes, a tasteful bag and darker colors. Always err on conservative over sexy and don’t be afraid to add a few low-key elements that add personality to your look.
By Wendy Rose Gould
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