Adrian, a friend of Semple’s, recently posted some bold views on our company LinkedIn page on a truism about women and interviews. He commented: “With an uneven gender balance in senior positions, many more aspiring female managers and directors are interviewed by men than vice versa. Subconsciously or not, colour, length, style of dress (did she dare to wear trousers?!) jewellery, make-up and accessories can still influence hiring decisions.”
A client of ours, Jane, replied: “I’m a proud owner of two Semple dresses. They definitely helped boost my confidence in interviews. This was not so much because I think that I have to try harder than a man but because I think it’s harder for many women to find clothes that really fit their body shape.”
At Semple when we talk about women being empowered because of our dresses, and when our clients describe how a Semple dress makes them feel – we are all commenting on enclothed cognition, the systematic influence that clothes have on our psychological processes. Our brand intentionally combines the symbolic meaning of a dress with the physical experience of wearing it. In other words, I am a female in a garment that looks great and fits and feels fantastic. This sense affects how I think and behave.
A week ago we benefited from a decision that will positively impact our business. It wasn’t a hiring or firing decision but one of empowerment. We had applied and were successful in achieving WEConnect International Certified Business status. We are now one of approximately 187 million women-owned businesses worldwide in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, North Africa and North America. This opportunity is exciting for us as we plan our activities for 2017.
One thing is for sure, we’re going to have to expand the definition of enclothed cognition from individual to whole company. The symbolic meaning of running a fashion brand with the physical experience of belonging to a community of female entrepreneurs is a neat twist on Jane meeting Adrian connected by Semple. By the way if you are wondering, Adrian bought the Semple Gift Experience for his partner and she loves her new dress.