Interview with Amanda Pullinger, Former CEO/Current Senior Advisor - 100 Women in Finance
Nora: At this stage in your very successful career, what have you learned about clothing - and dressing for work in general?
Amanda: I realized that aesthetics and how you present yourself really matters. Visibility is absolutely critical to get ahead. As women we've been taught that if you just work hard and excel in your responsibilities, someone will notice you. I think this is complete rubbish. You really need to show up to be noticed, so wear something that stands out (in an appropriate way) and put yourself out there.
Nora: What do you like about our clothes here at Nora Gardner?
Amanda: I love the bright colors. One of the things that I learned from observing her late Queen Elizabeth II was that wearing bright colors is a great way to stand out from the crowd and get people's attention – in her case especially as she was short and had to be seen in the crowds! Also, I always take your clothes on business trips because they do not ever wrinkle. When I pack my Nora dresses, it is one less thing that I've got to deal with when I get to a destination. I know your dresses will be perfectly fine to wear the next day and I won't need to send them to a dry cleaner.
Nora: Tell us about a time when you wore something to make a statement?
Amanda: I recently attended a conference in in Saudi Arabia and I was the speaker on the mainstage. I wore red very deliberately. I wore red because it sends a message of power and you know, for some reason that made them pay attention to what I was saying. It was so fascinating! You can use clothing to make yourself feel strong but also to send a message
Nora: New topic. What is the importance of women going back to the office post Covid?
Amanda: My worry to this day is that if women choose NOT to be in the office when their male colleagues are back in the office, women will lose out. Covid was unique. Decisions were made in a bunch of boxes on a screen because you couldn't get together, so it was a much more democratic way of making decisions. Where are all the decisions going to be made now? The answer is that we are human and so most of the decisions are going to be made in person: privately in someone’s office, at the water cooler, by being in the conference room (not on the screen) - or at drinks after work. Women should show up as much as possible, it is critical to make sure they are not left out of key discussions and decisions.
Nora: Have you worn our clothes to any other events? How do they make you feel?
Amanda: I have worn your clothes to many events! They are so easy to wear from a business meeting and then into an evening event. I’ve worn your Daphne Dress in Blazing Yellow several times going into business meetings where I knew there might be some tension in the room. I deliberately wore yellow because it made me feel happy and it's interesting that as I walked into the room people immediately responded to the bright color and the energy instantly became positive.