HR Administration

Vanguard CEO to Employees: Let’s Lose the Suits

By Staff Report

Dec. 3, 2010

A few weeks ago, the Vanguard Group Inc.’s chief executive, William McNabb, received an e-mail from one of his sales representatives that a longtime client wanted to have lunch with him.

At the end of the e-mail was a simple request: “Please do not suit up.”

“The client actually asked that I not wear a suit,” McNabb said. “They said it made them feel uncomfortable.”

Despite being more than 100 miles away from the formalities of Wall Street, Malvern, Pennsylvania-based Vanguard always has required its employees worldwide to dress in business attire: a jacket and tie for men and professional dress for women.

Until now, that is.

On Nov. 23, McNabb announced on his blog that Vanguard would go “business appropriate,” meaning that all of its 12,500 employees across the world no longer have to “suit up” unless they are meeting with clients. The blog post received more than 20,000 hits.

“I had wanted the blog to outpace the number of hits of the cafeteria menu,” said John Woerth, a spokesman. The menu gets between 100 and 200 hits each day.

Last week at Vanguard’s headquarters, McNabb himself was wearing a button-down shirt and pants.

“My predecessor, Jack Brennan, felt that business attire was more egalitarian,” he said. “If you walked into a room, you couldn’t tell who the boss was.”

But after much deliberation—”I won’t even tell you how long it took to make this decision,” McNabb said—the firm has embraced the new dress code.

“It just felt it was time,” he said.

Filed by Jessica Toonkel of InvestmentNews, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com

Stay informed and connected. Get human resources news and HR features via Workforce Management’s Twitter feed or RSS feeds for mobile devices and news readers.

About Workforce.com

blog workforce

We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog

HR Administration

Policy management: What is it and what does it look like for HR?

Summary Policy management involves the creation and maintenance of administrative procedures and guidel...

hr policy, policy automation, policy management

workforce blog

Compliance

Minimum Wage by State in 2022 – All You Need to Know

Summary The federal minimum wage rate is $7.25, but the rate is higher in 30 states, along with Washing...

federal law, minimum wage, pay rates, state law, wage law compliance

workforce blog

HR Administration

Rest and lunch break laws in every US state

Summary Federal law does not require meal or rest breaks Some states have laws requiring meal and rest ...