Employees for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) were recently given gender specific fashion advice during a demonstration called “How to Dress for Success” in the workplace. It was intended to be an informal event, discussing helpful ways to achieve the most out of success. In an effort to suggest ways to improve outward appearance, the briefing drew some criticism. Suggestions were considered inappropriate and highly offensive, especially to the women in attendance.
Statements were made in the seminar regarding female employees, encouraging them to avoid being plain or ordinary in appearance. They were urged to practice walking in heels, having painted nails, wear vibrant colors, donning clothing more flattering to their femininity, and wearing make-up more often.
Attendants were told:
“Makeup makes you more attractive … A sweater with a skirt is better than a sweater with slacks. No flats. Don’t be a Plain Jane.”
The presentation came the same week the Department of Defense (DoD) announced women would be permitted in combat positions.
Representatives for the agency admit the conference was an erroneous blunder, reports Livewire. A letter was sent out by DIA Director General Michael Flynn, apologizing to the employees for the debacle, admitting “even smart people do dumb things sometimes.” Statements made during the conference were not meant to be mandatory directives.
The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), established in 1961, is part of the US Intelligence Community and is the central producer and manager of military intelligence for the United States Department of Defense (DoD). They employ over 16,500 US military and civilian workers worldwide. The DIA and the defense intelligence community provide military data. The defense intelligence community is headed by the DIA through a Director, who chairs the Military Intelligence Board, and coordinates the activities of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps intelligence forces.
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