Makeup required.

These two executive FREAKS from the Bank of England held a "Dress for Success" day in order issue the following memo to their female employees;

“Look professional, not fashionable; be careful with perfume; always
wear a heel of some sort — maximum 2 inches; always wear some sort of
makeup — even if it’s just lipstick
” Shoes and skirt must be the same
color. No-no’s include ankle chains — “professional, but not the one
you want to be associated with;” white high heels; overstuffed
handbags; an overload of rings, and double-pierced ears.

In the midst of the largest financial crisis since the Depression, you're telling me THIS is what these dudes are spending their time on? When questioned by WWD, they stuttered around with weak excuses blaming the messaging on some consultants.

We have officially entered The Twilight Zone.

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8 Responses to Makeup required.

  1. Amy says:

    Im going to repost a well said comment from the actual article on the site you linked because I feel it best illustrates how I feel towards these men.
    “So if I wore heels that matched my skirt and then used lipstick to write GO *&!@* YOURSELF across my forehead, I’d still be within the rules here?”

  2. FreeEternally says:

    That doe not really surprise me. When I was competing in speech and debate I was told not only how to dress (power suits and heels), how to stand, not to gain weight (who would take a fat person seriously?), and what make-up to wear (minimum…mascara, foundation, blemish cover-up, lipstick in a not to intense power color…eye shadow was optional but it better be tasteful was the message). That was when I was 14 and it was only for high school speech. Their guidelines are not that different then what I have been told growing up on how to dress.

  3. Racheal says:

    Unfortunately this is exactly the type of standards women are held to in the banking world. While I believe that this memo is completely inappropriate, because I work for a large European bank as well, many of these stereotypes are unsaid but adhered too. Most women adhere to them mainly because in business, women have to compete so much harder to do as well as men in the business, that they might as well come across professionally.
    While I do believe it is inappropriate, this is underlying the entire banking business.

  4. S says:

    These guidelines are very subjective.
    As a student from a school that emphasizes a dress code that many people try to go around, I think I have a small understanding of what they (these guys) mean. It is possible to follow law, but then go around them by overdoing something or going extreme, or by following some distasteful fad.
    Because we are not English, we also are not aware of some cultural things that completely change the scenario. For instance, I don’t understand what is so bad about white heels. I can understand the thing about the ankle chains, overstuffed bags etc..
    Makeup might just be a sign that the worker puts in an effort to look professional and respects the bank environment, making the customers feel that they are in a professional environment where their money is safe etc..
    Shoes and skirt thing: very subjective (probably some fashion “rule” that I don’t care about).
    Now that I think of it, this subject reminds me “The Devil Wears Prada”. This is the second time in 2 weeks.
    Even though some of these subjective rules might have been implemented for logical purposes, it is probably true these guys are trying to control the work environment as much as possible and for their own benefit.
    I think that in a work environment where people from many different backgrounds come to work and do business, these banking heads thought that they need some new laws to help their workers decided what to wear more easily.

  5. pippa says:

    Amy your comment was brilliant!
    Banker rhymes with… 😉

  6. Tanya says:

    Many moons ago I worked in an office that required women to wear suit jackets or shirts with collars because apparently anything else would, and I quote, ‘be too distracting for our male colleagues’. Although I said ‘many moons ago’ I’m talking late 1990s here, not 1950s.
    I love being self-employed!

  7. smudgeruk says:

    S – white heels are regarded as being a bit, um, “white trash” I suppose is what you’d call it on your side of the pond… :oD
    What makes me sick is that I know women who went to work in the City and left because they found it impossible, as women, to be taken seriously. I’ll post concrete examples when I have more time, but believe me, as a woman, you’re seen as eye candy and little else by most of these suits…
    (It’s also a well-known fact that the City boys are often the ones that take clients to lap-dancing clubs on their fat expense accounts…)

  8. smudgeruk says:

    Hey Pippa, you thinking of the modern cockney rhyming slang?
    “Merchant banker = ***k**” 😉

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