Dear Jane: Should I Tell the Associates Their Shoes Are Hurting Their Rep?

by 352admin 28. February 2013 12:21

Dear JaneDear Jane,

I overheard a partner call a group of younger women associates “the stilettos.” These women do regularly wear three-inch heels, but the nickname is not positive. Should I say something?


Will Words Hurt Them? 


Dear Will Words Hurt Them?,

This nickname creates a negative perception.  You would be doing these women a big favor by giving them some sound advice about how non-verbal communication, i.e., dress, impacts their credibility.  It’s not that you are telling them how to dress; you are just encouraging them to be known for their substantive skills, not their three-inch heels.  Please take the risk to have a conversation with these women.

Jane DiRenzo Pigott is the managing director of R3 Group LLC, specializing in working with professional service organizations on leadership and change in connection with diversity and inclusion. Before founding R3 Group, she practiced law for more than two decades at large law firms where she chaired a practice group, served on the executive management and compensation committees, and founded and ran diversity initiatives and affinity groups.

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