Personally, I hate wearing them. I do confess, however, that when I want to emphasize my power and executive presence, I choose to wear high heels. I guess I buy into the myth that the increased height that wearing high heels affords me enhances not only my stature but my status.
Sheryl Sandberg posed for the cover of Time in her stilettos. Marissa Meyer wore her signature high heels for her profile in Vogue. It would seem to the observer that high powered women wear stylish high heels and aren’t afraid to show off their femininity.
An article in the New York Times last year commented on this growing trend for women in tech to be fashionable. The question is, however, do women in tech or any other male dominated industry appear less capable if they focus on fashion?
“Silicon Valley has long been known for semiconductors and social networks, not stilettos and socialites. But in a place where the most highly prized style is to appear to ignore style altogether and the hottest accessory is the newest phone, a growing group of women is bucking convention not only by being women in a male-dominated industry, but also by unabashedly embracing fashion.”
There has been a growing trend toward “feminine feminism”.
“I was researching an article for The New York Times, and I flew out to California to attend a women’s conference. And I walked into a room of 50 of some of the most high-powered women in the U.S. And I noticed, immediately, that they defied all the stereotypes – the age-old stereotypes of high-powered women in the workforce. When I worked in consulting – management consulting and finance – there was one way to dress, and there was one model for success. And that was really the male way. And you found women dressing in the sort of female equivalent of the male suits. It was the blue and gray pinstripe suits, or black with the big shoulder pads. It was the 80s power suit. And typically, women would cut their hair. They were trying to do anything to mask their femininity – because, again, they were trying to blend in with men, and not accentuate any part of their sort of womanhood. There was only one model for success. And it was all men in positions of power – and, if you wanted to blend in, and you wanted these men to have the experience of your mind – you couldn’t be wearing bright colors and talking about your shoes. “