Pop culture has developed the image of the tech world wardrobe as the infamous hoodie and jeans wearing engineer. Based on T.V., you would think that no one ever puts on a tie or wears high heels. We also have in mind that engineers are too busy to do anything other than focus on their project, much less think about clothing. For goodness sake they can’t even be bothered to eat food anymore.
It’s somewhat surprising that the larger tech companies that provides so much for workers in-house don’t provide a clothing store inside. There are other option though. Cathy Polinsky is the CTO of Stitch Fix, an e-commerce company that sends clothes directly to you. This year, she was identified by Hackbright University as the 2nd of 12 Women CTOs to watch.
Prior to joining the Stitch Fix Team she was the senior vice president of engineering and enterprise search at Salesforce, and she began her career in software development at Amazon in 1999. She holds a B.A. in computer science from Swarthmore College, a private liberal arts college in Pennsylvania.
In a male dominated work culture, female engineers and technology professionals, may want to try to blend in wearing hoodies and jeans, which is totally fine if that is their personal style preference. But, Cathy did an interview on a Stitch Fix blog about how she has enjoyed having more of a wardrobe style now that she has grown more confident in her career.
While this is not a product endorsement, I can attest to the ease and excellent user experience I’ve had with Stitch Fix. Though, the last time I placed an order was before Cathy came on board. I made an order for myself as a birthday gift as well as it being part of a birthday gift for a friend who loves the service. She got a credit for turning me into a customer. Unlike my friend, however, I enjoy going to the store and shopping, whereas my friend likes to have clothes sent to her. She is also the mother of a toddler, so that makes perfect sense.
Whether we want to admit it, clothing is significant in the professional world. The laid back style of the hoodie and jeans is symbolic of an industry just like the suit once was.
Thank you Cathy for reminding us that we can all have style.
You can follow Cathy on Twitter: @cathy_polinsky