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Dress Code Surveys Meetings

I am a region manager in a company that employs a fair number of women in outside sales. Each winter and summer, we have sales meetings. This past winter, there was a noticeable amount of cleavage on display from a group of women, including their female manager. The company solicits feedback on these meetings, and several comments were made regarding this display, including some from other women. The same problem occurred in our summer sales meetings last week. I don't believe the company has a formal dress code. What do you suggest?

Dress codes in some companies can be better described as undress codes, but that is really a matter for each individual organization to determine. Company standards on employee attire are impacted by numerous factors such as industry standards, product mix, customer expectations, customer contact, employee safety, and company values.

Numerous companies today have moved from having casual Fridays to casual years, although the pendulum appears to be gradually swinging back toward more conservative attire.

Acceptable attire in any company emanates from the actions and expectations of senior management. If management dons or condones extremely casual attire, the standard is set. This is the case even if written policies are more conservative.

On the one hand, when looking at the women in your situation, the real focal point should be their sales numbers. At the same time, presumably the findings from the surveys conducted at these meetings are presented to senior management. When senior managers review the comments about revealing apparel, their actions will be equally revealing.

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