Photo by Serhii Butenko on Unsplash
Remember the 1980s when big hair was all the rage? Might have been fashionable, but not for women wanting to climb the corporate ladder. At that time, Tess, played by Melanie Griffith in the movie Working Girl said:
“You wanna be taken seriously, you need serious hair.”
She cut off her below-the shoulder tresses for a chin-length bob and one less barrier on her way up.
Beyonce leads the way
Luckily times (and hair products) have changed.
Beyonce is taken seriously and she has very big hair. She may not be climbing a corporate ladder, but she (and other big-haired corporate sisters) have paved the way for all big haired gals. I’m grateful.
Unfortunately, it takes more than hair to look the part. I was once told that I’d lost a huge project because the potential client (a woman) said “honestly, I was expecting an older man in a suit”.
Look the part
You can’t change your gender. But you can influence how you’re perceived. The easiest way of all is to look the part. Raid your wardrobe, visit the hairdresser. It’s not that hard to fit right in.
It doesn’t mean you need to be a sheep or contort yourself into how you imagine the ideal corporate citizen presents herself.
The idea is to adapt, so that you’re perceived as an obvious contender, and not distract the powers that be from your brilliance.