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Dress Codes

The topic of dress codes and what to wear and not wear to the office is getting a lot of air space.  And in a recent announcement by PwC Australia triggered the creation of this post.  I will start with two things

1.  I am an ex-PwC Partner and, 

2.  this post is going to be a bit of a rant – so if you don’t like this sort of articles stop reading now.

This article, from the Australian Financial Review - PwC Scraps its Dress Code - talks about how PwC is relaxing its dress code “…in a bid to unlock the creativity and diversity of our people”.  The article continues to discuss how PwC hires smart people and no longer needs to give them rules on what to wear, as in the picture showing the guidelines for “Modern Business Apparel” (please note – the picture attached to this post is the OLD guidelines, not the new ones). 

PwC is also quick to point out that this new way of thinking about dressing is not in response to the receptionist who was told to change her shoes and that high heels were required. (I think most of you have read an article on this subject but if not find one of them here).

In the war for talent PwC and its competitors are looking for ways to attract and retain talent, and to be the employer of choice for new high calibre graduates.  But are dress codes (or lack of) the right approach?

As a consultant, the great partners whom I worked for taught me one crucial thing - you need to reflect your client’s culture. If the client was Levis (or pick your favourite brand) then wear Levi’s to work (but NEVER wear Calvin Klein’s).  If you are working for HSBC, then dress the part, the right dark suit, tie, or skirt.   There is no one size fits all as the role of a consultant is to assist the client in accomplishing a set of objectives, goals, transformational changes.  To be successful with this mission you have to fit with the culture of the organisation, and part of the culture is what clothes you wear.

I hope that the new generation of employees within the “big 4” have partners like I had, that focused on the client, and how to make the client successful.  Maybe I am a little old fashion, but I want the consults I hire to work with my culture and part of that is dressing to fit into my world, not the world of PwC, EY, Deloitte…..

Mary Sue Rogers

Posted On : 18-06-16

Commented by:  Craig Yetter

You need a Like button. I agree with all you rant about on this topic. You make me chuckle. We aren't wearing ties where I work today. In a bid for work, the vendor showed up for their presentation. Before we started, they did a funny striptease taking off their jackets and ties before we got to the presentation. Haha!

Posted On : 04-07-16

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