Feminine Gamification Viewpoint: Reflections from a travelling speaker
As a frequently travelling speaker, I often explore new continents, conferences and cultures as well as ways of working. Sometimes before a trip I get a little bit anxious about the destination or how a talk will be received or other random things based on internet influence. Just this week I have been in Mumbai, India and Istanbul, Turkey, both were new destinations and countries for me. I did the usual reading up on the cities and countries as well as looking into what is acceptable business attire and the type of tone which would be acceptable as a woman to address an audience.
For India I wondered if I needed to invest in more traditional business clothes in order to be culturally in tune what is acceptable. A lovely fellow female airline passenger, who was born and raised in India put my mind at ease about business clothes such as a dress suit to be acceptable. With the time available to actually make it to the conference in time, shopping would have been a kamikaze stunt after 2 hours in queues at immigration, so I was superbly grateful for the advice. I did however wear a dark legging underneath the dress in order to fit in with more conservative dress styles and to be honest I often do this in summer more because of body confidence than any other reason. Interestingly enough I didn’t have any of these reservations to speak in Turkey, because of the part European side to Istanbul. Saying that with Turkey as a gateway to Europe from Asia and the Middle East, there was a higher prevalence of women in full length dress and varying lengths of head dresses here than traditionally Indian dressed women in Mumbai.
As a woman in my view we are more sensitive to these cultural variations, probably partly because society expects us to adapt. In one of the discussion with fellow speakers we had a formal dinner and as ladies we spoke about dresses and adapting our clothing to suit the occasion if necessary; thankfully it wasn’t full black-tie, because I had surely not prepared for this. But our male counterparts very innocently mentioned they never considered wearing anything else than what they wore at home whether that was denims and a jacket or a full suit. It made me think that as women we are always looking to make sure we fit a certain standard or expectation (often our own, to be perfectly honest). I wonder if it even occur to men that some things may just not be appropriate.
I then subsequently wondered could we gamify an application to give dress appropriate advice on a global scale, where women around the world can rate your outfit for “yes, this would work in my city or country for business” or “for night out”. I know this already exists for friends to rate an outfit, but imagine an international panel of female outfit advisors and maybe male ones too. Interestingly when I was researching both destinations, most of the commentary I found was from men about what would work or female solo travellers with a mix of experiences, neither one of those instilled me with the confidence to know with more certainty what would work. Yet a total stranger, who I spoke to at length on a plane could give me the low down, because we had built up rapport and trust to give advice. So I guess the number of votes would calculate by country what would work.
How would you gamify acceptable dress codes for both men and women?