Making An Impact In The Boardroom

For many women in senior positions this is a genuine challenge – making an impact in the boardroom is all about being memorable.  Simply put, neglecting your business image can make you a memorable leader for all the wrong reasons.  

What you wear is clearly wrapped up in who you are as a personal brand and will influence how others in your organisation perceive you.    A more senior role brings with it increased daily exposure to public speaking, press events and high impact, high exposure situations where you are often acting as the face of your company.   Interest in your business fashion choices grow because of this.  Getting your business image right for the occasion, is clearly very important.  It will subtly convey your suitability for the leading role and more importantly you want your audience focused on the message you are delivering, not sat there considering whether your blouse choice for the day is appropriate!

So how do you get it right?   Dressing for work is a case of “horses for courses” with unwritten codes of acceptable uniforms depending on the industry you are in.  For example,  a conservative suited and booted look with matching pearls screams successful senior corporate leader in law, banking and finance, whilst a funky wrap dress teamed with boots and a chunky statement necklace and you must be working in a creative industry like media or advertising...

Start by considering your industry carefully – is it a conservative industry with deep roots in tradition or is it an innovative relaxed environment where creativity flows?   Have a look at your company’s annual report – you’ll know by now how the company’s brand is portrayed, but looking at it in this type of document often brings it all together for you.  Take a look at how the board members are pictured ?  If the board are all dressed in suits, then this is a good indication that you will need to dress conservatively too  (opt for Boardroom luxury with a feminine twist!) – but if it’s all open neck collars and colourful, artistic settings then feel free to unleash the full extent of your fashion wardrobe! 

Of course, being a woman in a senior position is a fantastic opportunity to stand out from the boardroom crowd and show that you are proud to be a female leader and inspiration to all.  Gone are the days when only a pinstripe trouser suit would do.   Don’t be afraid to bring in colour to reflect your personality, use jewellery and well chosen accessories like a luxury watch and a designer handbag to show you are on trend.  It’s these understated touches which will show a fashionable sophistication and leave your fellow board members with a great, lasting impression.

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