"I have never met a woman who is not strong. They don't exist."
- Diane von Fürstenberg
8th March marks International Women's Day. A celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Today also creates awareness for the need to accelerate gender parity.
Today I'm celebrating how far women have come in our struggle for equality, especially in the world of business and how we dress for work. As a workwear fashion blogger, it still amazes me that women not so long ago didn't possess the same freedom I often take for granted when blogging about my favourite outfit for the office.
Gone are the worries women would face when shopping for office clothing, and the anxiety felt if they turned up to work wearing the wrong thing. Feeling like they don't "fit in". Can you show your arms? Where must the pencil skirt hem finish? Are trousers acceptable? It feels almost surreal to think these were genuine rules women had to abide by before even stepping foot in work. It was as though how women looked and were perceived by others was more important than the work itself. How crazy is that?!
In 2017 more than ever are we seeing women in business embracing this freedom. Personalities shine in the workplace through the styling of different outfits, colours and the incorporation of fashion trends. Women are power dressing for work to express their confidence. Power dressing for me personally, is putting on an outfit that instantly boosts my confidence and simply makes me feel really good about myself. Looking good for nobody other than myself. If you feel empowered in yourself, you ooze confidence without even knowing it.
Unfortunately despite the relaxed office dress codes, we still live in a world where we are constantly scrutinised for everything from our body language to relationships and most of all, our clothes. This is simply reality, and should not cause offence. In fact, it's the perfect opportunity for women to demonstrate leadership and power.
I feel blessed to live in an age where I am not expected to dress a certain way in order to be taken seriously. I can walk into a client meeting wearing something high fashion and know that it's my actions that will determine how I'm portrayed, not what I'm wearing that day. Of course, my clothes will be mentally judged by those in the room but that's just natural. We all do it, sometimes without even knowing! It's impossible not to. What leaves the lasting impression is the confidence I have to be completely myself, not the silk scarf tied around my neck from the latest Kenzo x H&M collection.
Women are climbing to the very top of the corporate ladders, yet the style of shoe worn to climb hasn't hindered us getting there. How fabulous is that?
Although many improvements have been made over the years, we still have a long way to go. So today, as well as remembering how far we've come and celebrating the strong women in our lives, let's create as much awareness as possible to this important day. Find out how you can make a difference by visiting the official International Women's Day website here.
"Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding." -www.internationalwomensday.com
Dorothy is the founder of She Goes Wear, a Workwear Fashion and Lifestyle blog for women in business. Discover more on - www.shegoeswear.com
HuffPost UK is running a month-long project in March called All Women Everywhere, providing a platform to reflect the diverse mix of female experience and voices in Britain today
Through blogs, features and video, we'll be exploring the issues facing women specific to their age, ethnicity, social status, sexuality and gender identity. If you'd like to blog on our platform around these topics, email firstname.lastname@example.org