Does Working Around Hoodies Make Things Harder For Women?

AP/Jeff Chiu

Mark Zuckerberg wearing a hoodie

AP/Jeff Chiu

June 14, 2024 at 11:3PM UTC
This article about dress codes in Silicon Valley makes the case that women there face harder-than-usual choices when it comes to what they wear to work. The premise of the piece is that it's harder, culturally for women to "dress down" to fit in within an environment where a disregard for outward appearance (read: wearing hoodies) can translate into a subtle cue that you're too powerful / smart / good to care. 

Or at least that's how men (including Mark Zuckerberg) can do it. Women, it's argued, can't seem to participate in this "tribe" because of counter-prevailing norms that they present themselves stylishly and attractively.

While we can sympathize and agree that generally women simply face more choices when it comes how to dress and present oneself to the outside world, we're not convinced that women in tech necessarily have it harder.

Even in work environments where uniforms (literally or quasi-literally in the form of suits, for example) are required every day, subtle choices abound and can theoretically cause some level of paralysis (or wasting of time, depending on your point of view). 

Things such as outfit fit, makeup, hairstyle, hair color, shoe type and height, and accessories are also things that women have to consider when it comes to how to dress at work to be perceived positively (whatever that may mean to the individual in question). And this can apply whether you're a teacher, construction worker, retail employee, pharmaceutical sales rep, corporate executive or woman working in the tech industry.



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