In a world where brand is so important, it is also wise to take into consideration your own brand in the workplace. What kind of impression and vibe do you create for yourself? But even more so, how is your professional (and personal!) brand helping to create a more inclusive workplace for everyone?
These are big questions, so we turned to Corporate in Color to help us dive deeper.
Corporate in Color is a lifestyle blog all about women and fashion in the workplace, helping women build their branding presence, work towards their professional and personal goals, and be part of the movement towards inclusivity in everything they do.
Corporate in Color is run by two incredible women, Sydney and Maya, who aim to inspire women to live their best professional and personal lives in full color, with timely career advice and fabulous corporate style tips to make sure how you present on the outside reflects your true essence.
So in late January, Outbrain was thrilled to host Sydney and Maya in a virtual interactive event for our employees of all gender identities. And here’s a quick overview of what we learned and hopefully you can benefit from it too!
Of course, be sure to check out the Corporate in Color blog to get more tips and advice directly from Sydney and Maya.
What are your pillars?
The road to empowerment in the workplace and beyond is understanding yourself and who you are inside. The CIC team got us all thinking about our “pillars”, those traits or characteristics that most define us. Who am I, inside and outside of work?
These pillars are so unbelievably important because they form the foundation of your unique brand. And let’s face it, even if you don’t think of yourself as having a brand – you do. Your brand is not something you switch on and off at will. Your unique qualities, or pillars, will show up in your life and reflect the impressions you make whether you like it or not.
During the workshop, participants identified a lot of different pillars, like ‘passionate’, ‘perceptive’, ‘unstoppable’, ‘loyal’, and many more.
Once the pillars were revealed, we enjoyed a presentation about the different fashion looks that are suitable for the corporate environment today, and how to adapt an appropriate style within the atmosphere of your workplace.
Decoding the dress code
What is business casual? What is the expectation for dress code in your workplace? These are questions that women at work face every day, made more difficult by the fact that there is a large spectrum of what’s acceptable, from professional and conservative looks to the most casual jeans and top.
For the record, when asked what category Outbrain falls into, all employees answered that the Outbrain look is definitely ‘smart casual’ to ‘casual’! So when the world returns to normal, and if you ever happen to pop into an Outbrain office somewhere around the world, expect to see a relaxed and informal fashion style.
According to Sydney and Maya, casual definitely does not mean ‘sloppy’. Even for the most casual workplaces like Outbrain, there is a difference between what you wear to work and what you wear on weekends.
But the most important takeaway is this: there’s no need to fit yourself into any box. Create your own unique look, even in a more business-focused space. Be yourself and let that guide you to making big impressions with your style.
Inclusivity: why it matters
After discussing some of the ways to get your brand out there, like networking on social media, participating in online discussions and knowledge sharing, and even getting your own website, it was time to discuss the key issue: how to make your brand inclusive.
Inclusivity is about making space in your life and professional environment for other voices and bringing the perspectives of women of color to the table.
Together with Sydney and Maya, we delved into our pillars and goals and looked for ways to work towards them while being inclusive at the same time. Here’s a practical example: Let’s say you want to learn something new, so you sign up for a course. Make sure to look for a course delivered by a woman of color who is an expert in the field. That way, you can gain the knowledge while also including the perspective and voice of someone you might not have otherwise discovered. Win-win for all.
Design an inclusive brand to reach your goals
The last part of the event was devoted to giving participants the time and space to create a practical, actionable plan to build a personal brand and make it inclusive. We wrote down three top priorities to focus on every day, week, or month, driven by the pillars we defined earlier.
Feel free to download the goal setting template and start working on your own action plan.
It’s all about making your goals inclusive, so you can impact others as well as yourself.
That’s the kind of atmosphere we try to build here at Outbrain, and thanks to the women of Corporate in Color, we are well on our way! Of course, we’re always hiring, so be sure to check our job board, if you’re interested in joining the Outbrain family.
And remember, don’t miss the Corporate in Color blog for more advice and style tips to max your professional brand and personal goals.