This weekend I attended my first Blogger Meetup in SF and it was wonderful to meet some really talented and supportive people! Time flew as we got to sharing strategies and helping each other with ideas. A fellow blogger Jen (her blog is Life Unrefined – check it out!) and I started discussing the challenges women in the tech industry sometimes face with their outfit choices. You may not know but my full-time job is working for a software company (very Silicon Valley-esque). I’m proud to work for a company that actively supports equality for women and we are seeing major shifts in the tech industry today. But let’s face it, tech is still a male-dominated industry. I may be on the Marketing side of the house but I’ve worked with women in technical roles and can empathize with the struggle to want to represent your inner woman but still be seen with the same regard and treated equally to your male peers.
In addition, it’s generally way more casual out here than on the East coast and in Europe, which has taken a while for me to get used to. Regardless of what the fashion scene may be wherever you live, I don’t think anyone should feel the need to suppress their own fashion preferences, which for many is a form of self-expression. Business casual on the East coast meant pretty much wearing flats instead of heels with my black pantsuit. Here, it means I can wear jeans, a loose top, and a nice cardigan or jacket. I admit, it’s nice being able to throw on a pair of jeans to work any day I choose – everyday is casual Friday. I also like that I can be a bit more playful with my wardrobe and not have to wear a skirt or pantsuit everyday. However, I am a fond believer in the saying, “dress for the job you want.” That can vary by workplace, but it’s amazing how much a first impression either opens a door or shuts it.
I still probably overdress most of the time according to many San Franciscans, however, I’ve explored ways to adopt a Silicon Valley style that represents the romantic and chic I adore, which you’ll see in some of my outfit choices as you follow along on my blog. Hopefully, it will inspire lovely tech-savvy ladies out there to keep true to who you are and not suppress your inner girly girl. You are both brains and beauty, so flaunt it!
Side note: Today’s date didn’t occur to me until someone greeted us this morning at work with pie…. Happy Pi(e) day!
Have you had similar challenges? If so, how have you overcome them? Share them in the comments below – you never know who it may help out!