The data was there a few years ago, and it has come to fruition. Wages for women are beginning to outpace men. Even though women make up 2/3 of the workforce, there is still a pay gap. Right now, it is impressive and changing generations coming up the pike, but what happens when all those low-paying jobs become automated?
I am watching the NCAAs, where advertising is part of the watch. In one ad, a woman appears and tells us she is an investor in a futuristic company making the woman out to be smarter than everyone else in the room. She’s holding a to-go coffee in a super casual way. She’s probably late 40s. Her outfit is casual with zero style. A button-down shirt untucked over a pair of poorly fit straight cropped pants with pumps. Is this what success looks like?
Who the hell is dressing these women? These women should make us all feel good. They should be aspirational, not relatable. When they are dressed so poorly and casually, it doesn’t say to any woman, damn, I want to be that. Whether you like it or not, presentation makes a big difference. We wouldn’t spend so much time building and perfecting our brands if it didn’t.
The casualization of society is one thing, but that doesn’t mean we need to walk around in workout attire all day or sweat pants with sweatshirts. Fashion represents and is a reflection of history. Skirt lines go up and down, and suits have gone from oversized to straight, jeans are changing from slim leg to more significant leg, big shoulder pads, etc.
I am thrilled to see serious representation of every person across the board on TV shows, advertising, magazine covers, and theater. It is finally bleeding into corporate America, but that does not mean we have to look like we have no panache.