Employment expert explains how companies can ensure their dress codes are equitable for all
With summer temperatures climbing, employees are looking for ways to keep cool while in the office. But what happens when office dress codes are biased towards the cis community?
Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert, says, “Summer dress codes present a big issue for many companies. This is a particularly important to discuss as June is Pride Month, and many dress codes are seen as transphobic.”
So how companies create a comprehensive and equitable dress code for men and women, including those in the LGBTQIA community?
Here, employment expert Wilson outlines the important steps that companies of every size should take:
- Don’t use gender-specific language in your company policies. “For example, instead of saying ‘Women should not wear miniskirts’ or ‘Men must wear a tie’ simply state ‘No miniskirts’ or ‘Business professional attire required.’ Don’t assume that all of your employees identify as cissexual or that they all dress according to specific gender stereotypes.”
- What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. “If you allow your female staff to wear dark nail polish and edgy hair styles like pastel dye, then realize that is setting a precedent for the entire office. This means that all of your employees, including transwomen or men or those who identify as non-binary, will expect to have equal rights when it comes to expressing their fashion tastes. If you want to limit such expressions of individuality, then make a policy that only light nail polish is allowed and that no extreme hair colors or styles are permitted.”
- Send out a reminder at the start of each season. “As the weather gets warmer, more people are going to start reaching for open-toed shoes and sundresses,” says Wilson. “Now is the best time to send out a mass email to your staff with clear and concise instructions about summer dress.”