We always hear about employers having problems with employees who dress inappropriately or who don’t follow their organizations’ dress codes, but what about those instances when it’s the boss who doesn’t dress appropriately?
I work in a small public relations firm and the owner, everyone’s boss, often dresses in very revealing clothing. From top to bottom, her outfits leave very little to the imagination. This gets worse during the warmer times of the year, that being spring and summer.
I find it not only inappropriate but embarrassing. I’ve seen clients look at her with disapproval and I’ve even overheard them make snide remarks about her coming out of her clothes in all the wrong places. I realize she’s in charge and can do whatever she wants, but that doesn’t minimize my discomfort in any way. You may not understand this, but as a woman, I feel as though the way she dresses not only reflects poorly on herself and the company but on me and the other women in the office as well.
I also think her wardrobe choices have had a negative impact on the firm acquiring new clients. I can’t give you concrete numbers, but I bet some of our lack of success in the bidding process has been because of her unprofessional appearance.
I’ve been thinking about saying something to her, of course, in a very respectful way. What do you think?
Boss dresses inappropriately
Dear Boss dresses inappropriately:
You are obviously well aware that employees’ work attire choices can be problematic for employers. I imagine you also know that addressing employees’ inappropriate clothing has typically been a discussion bosses dread and/or avoid because of the highly sensitive and personal nature of such a talk. I can also understand and sympathize with you when you say you feel that the owner’s appearance reflects poorly on you. Nevertheless, I would not say anything to her about it unless you have an exceptionally close relationship with her.
If you determine your career and reputation are being negatively impacted, you may want to seek other employment.
Workplace Woes – Roze Knows®