There is a perception that well-dressed youngsters from well-to-do homes feel shortchanged at the work place as they face reverse discrimination on account of their family wealth
For over several years now, we’ve seen precedents in dreamy movies where rich princes and youngsters from a well-to-do family, hide their identities to make a life of their own and not let their family background influence their skills and abilities. Are we expected to sell ourselves short to fit in this judgmental society? We speak to HR representatives and employees to understand if an affluent employee gives an opinion that he/she might not need the salary to survive after all.
According to a few HR personnel, many youngsters tend to dress down and avoid driving to work because they believe that they are less likely to get a promotion, as the employer assumes that the incentive wouldn’t make a difference in their lives.
Speaking about such a mindset Vinod Arora an HR manager at a reputed e-commerce firm opines, “People believe that having a perception about others is a right and it is evident across various corporate firms. As a result we tend to judge others by their appearance and lifestyle. However, this primitive perception about an affluent employee impacts adversely in terms of promotions, as the management decides to give added benefits to those in dire need of it or those who don’t show off their flamboyant lifestyle.”
Divya (name changed on request) an employee at a famous bank shares her experience, “I have come across such snarly comments directed to me in the past. Dressing well to work and being able eat what I want is my choice and the management must not decide what I have to do with the money I earn. They go with a common assumption that if I can afford to buy new clothes from good brands and pay fat bill on my own then I don’t need an extra bit of incentive to survive and I miss out on promotions. This is irrespective of the talent we exhibit.”
What is the scenario like in the corporate world and why are people being assessed based on what they wear? In response to this Krishnakanth Ravi a program manager in the leading automobile industry says, “I have noticed various such cases of reverse discrimination in my career, when a young employee dressed modestly he gives an outlook of being an honest and hardworking employee and is likely to get promotions even if he isn’t very talented. On the contrary a youngster dresses fashionably, gives an outlook of being pompous and is less likely to get a promotion irrespective of the skills he/she possess. It is in fact toxic to work in a firm where we are assessed on how we dress rather that what our capabilities are.”
Laxmi Krishna who is a fashion designer by passion and an HR manager at a firm shares another point of view of the perception discussed. She says, “In my career as I have observed that when an employee comes very well dressed to work it gives the management and opinion that he/she focuses primarily of grooming themselves and will not be very committed to work. On the other hand employees who do not give much attention to what they wear accept to dress in such a way because they fear being judged. Such a prudent mindset needs to change.”