Finally, I have started to work on the island and I think I’m going to have to baby-step it. I always remind myself that I am a guest here who is trying to blend into the local scene. I have two different cultures that I am in the midst of experiencing and trying to understand – French and Mauritian. And the Mauritian culture is this amazing mix of many other culures all closely living together on this beautiful island -African, Mauritian/Creole, Indian, Middle Eastern and European.
I have been hired, not as an American ex-pat, but as a local resident.
Patience. Respect. Gratitude. Curiosity. Understanding.
I was giving the following document after starting my new job.
The Dress Code…Why?
Professionalism begins with oneself.
Whilst at work, we project images of ourselves, which can make a difference to the [company], to our Clients and to our Careers.
Statistics prove that women who dress well have a better chance to promotion than those who don’t. Taste is, of course, a personal matter, but the rules, which should ideally be self-imposed, are those of hygiene, decency and professionalism. More authority through dressing properly is one way of ensuring that women get the respect and promotion they deserve.
Self-respect is one of the only things, which once lost, is difficult to regain. Respecting oneself ensures respect from peers, colleagues and superiors and in a working environment; it makes sure women get taken as seriously as they want to.
In order to help everyone in the difficult task of finding something to wear every day, a team of women have come up with norms which allow for personal taste and the [company’s] image to be combined into a winner: YOU. We feel that there is the need for women to express their individuality and style. We hope that you find a way to make the most of your best ally. For a long and fruitful career with us: Your Professionalism.
Attached herewith is a proposed guideline for the staff.
1. Trousers should be allowed as long as they are classic in style and respectable. See attached copies, which clearly indicate that trousers are very elegant and project professional image.
2. No jeans and denim materials are allowed.
3. Skirts lengths should start 2 cm above the knee, downwards. Tight fitting and extravagant styles should not be worn. No mini lengths.
4. Colors should be discreet without any bold designs and patterns. Fabrics should be discreet. No flashy flimsy fabrics.
5. Neckline (décolleté) should be sober and decent.
6. Blouses should be decent in designs and fabrics. No tight fitted lycra items which are body-conscious: sleeveless blouses should be decent. The [designated personel member] is the only authority that has the last word on decency.
7. Always choose working style dresses.
8. No fancy style shoes e.g. Spice Girls or Stilettos.
9. Jewelry and accessories should be discreet and not distracting.
10. Everyone should make an effort to look polished.
11. Smell special. Remember that the right scent is always agreeable to your fellow colleagues.
Attached are copies of Women on The Move, which illustrates the acceptable dresses in the [company]. We are sure that each and every one of you will find the dressing style appropriate and very elegant. We are convinced that the above styles of dress code offer a very wide choice of clothing. However as mentioned earlier, the [designated personel member] should be the one to have the last say as to the degree of decency and appropriateness of the above-mentioned items of clothing.”
There is no document given out to men.
I was never given a copy of Women on The Move.
I am trying to start casual jean Fridays.
I will smell special.