I’m going to call on readers to help answer this question. Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments…
A reader writes:
I have a doozy for you. My female assistant (I’m a man) has a habit of wearing outfits that reveal lots of cleavage. It’s making me uncomfortable, and it’s unprofessional-looking when clients come in.
How do I handle this? As a man, I don’t know how to raise this without being creepy or potentially even making her feel harassed. We don’t have an HR department to intervene. I thought of asking a woman in the office to do it but our office is small and the only woman here who isn’t peer-level with her is someone who I know would be embarrassed at being asked to talk to her about this.
We’re a business casual office so it would be hard to have a general talk with her about needing to “dress more professionally” and I’m not sure she’d pick up on what I meant if the message was worded so vaguely anyway. Besides, other than being too low-cut, her clothes are professional. How do I address this? Or do I just try to ignore it?
Ugh. Readers? Solve this!