15 Jun 2017
A lot of us are familiar with the different approach to corporate attire at technology giants such as Apple and Facebook (think Mark Zuckerberg’s ubiquitous grey hoody or the late Steve Jobs’ black turtle neck).
Indeed, tech companies have embraced a more casual approach to corporate dress from the top down (if you’ll pardon the pun).
"Just as the influence of technology has an ever-increasing impact on business, the way we dress for work has always been evolving.”
At Netflix in Silicon Valley, the dress code stretches no further than advice not to come to work naked. It’s good advice.
Outside that sector, corporates such as PwC and JP Morgan are adapting as they search for the magic, technology-oriented touch.
In late 2017 ANZ moved to a more-relaxed way of dressing. It’s part of a push to build a more collaborative, creative and less-hierarchical organisation.
Just as the influence of technology has an ever-increasing impact on business the way we dress for work has always been evolving.
These photos from the ANZ archives show how much what we wear to work has changed over the course of ANZ’s 183 years of operation.
As gold and other resources were discovered in rural areas of Australia, the banking network expanded into these territories too. The rugged terrain often meant a more rugged outfit was required too as this image from Coolgardie in the 1880s shows.
The below photo is from Union Bank (an ANZ predecessor) headquarters in 1900. Colonial banks including Union took their lead from their headquarters in London, with three-piece suits and bowler hats to the fore.
With the first world war drawing many Australian and New Zealand men into service overseas, significant numbers of women entered the workforce in Australia.
For women in service in the Bank of Australasia in 1917 a simple uniform was supplied.
In many areas of ANZ’s operations over half of the male employees signed up for military service. Photos of staff at the time, as with this photo from Adelaide in 1915, show many men in military uniform.
The below shows the Bank of Australasia Ledger department in the 1930s. As simple automation and technology entered banking, there were small changes to dress, with two-piece suits replacing three-piece outfits.
There were also small numbers of female employees being hired to operate new technology entering the industry. Note the single female ledger clerk on the back row.
As technology automated many features of banking there was a greater focus on customer service.
This coincided in many areas with the introduction of a corporate uniform for frontline staff as worn by these switchboard operators in the 1950s, shown below.
With the introduction of typewriters and other new pieces of technology, women were employed by banks in increasing numbers.
In some locations there was a relaxation in the dress code for non-customer facing roles, as shown in the photo from the 1960s below.
With the growth of retail banking and products and associated branding, the clothing of banking employees was often a convenient vehicle for corporate advertising as with this marketing campaign in the late 1970s.
As sponsor of Australia’s 1984 Olympic team, ANZ played a role in helping athletes travel to America for the Games. ANZ employees wore corporate t-shirts during a Channel 1980s sponsorship telethon as well as providing the logo for Australian athletes.
As the Australian Bank with the largest international presence, national costume is often an important feature of working life as this image at the opening our of ANZ’s new Hong Kong office in 2009 shows.
ANZ was officially incorporated in Vietnam in 2008. AN ANZ helmet and scooter were the accessories for business life.
ANZ’s headquarters in late 2017 during Pride Week showcased a more individual and relaxed approach to corporate attire.
James Wilson is a bluenotes contributor
The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.
15 Jun 2017
10 Jun 2016