Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Silicon Valley and the taboo of dress pants

Last week I had a speaking engagement at the ABI.Silicon Valley chapter launch event for women in tech. The event was going to be memorable and exciting since it was the launch, and myself and other 4 awesome women in tech Jessica MongDeepti Gupta, Lulu Li and Steph Tung were the organizers as well as local chapter leaders.

So, I was debating what to wear, and realized that the choices were between wearing a dress or jeans and semi-casual shirt and blazer. I took another look at my wardrobe and realized that I own no dress pants. I had got rid of all suits after they set in my wardrobe without being worn for 5 years, in fact I think I wore a suit last time for a job interview in Michigan in 2008. It turns out dress pants were gone as well.

This made me realize that there is a sort of a taboo on the dress pants as well as suits in Silicon Valley. Just look at these industry leaders delivering their big keynotes and their jeans!

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg  keynote address at F8 conference 2016

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings's keynote address at the 2016 CES conference 
Apple CEO Tim Cook at WWDC keynote 2016

The morale of the day: if you want to make it to a top executive in Silicon Valley one day, don't wear dress pants on the speaking engagements.

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