Sitting in Cat's front room the other day we were discussing going to work en femme. As one does. It's not going to happen for me in a hurry. Too many logistical issues. But it did raise the point, right now I'm not convinced I'm working at my full capacity because the girl fog swirling round my brain doesn't like losing much of my attention for very long. On the days I've worked en femme from home I'm conscious I've been more focused because my inner girl is happily expressing herself, I'm happier with the way I look and feel. This isn't the magic bullet but it sure as hell frees up some of the processing power to do stuff and I get more done.
In a successful business, there should be little room for anything but the bottom line. Cash is King. So the simple rule of thumb is this: if you want to persuade a businessman or woman that something is a good idea, you give them the financial justification. Do this, and you'll make more money. Anything else is irrelevant to them, or it should be if they want to stay in business for long.
So how about this for a powerful argument that strays out of the transgendered sphere and applies to anybody: Be happy for your employees of all persuasions to express themselves as they see fit, watch their productivity rise and see a lot of your staff retention issues disappear as though they had never been.
It's compelling, isn't it. So why do so many employers have hangups about dress codes? I've worked for a few and walked out of interviews for a few more in my time. Forget en femme for a moment, why on earth should a programmer have to wear a suit and tie? The customers don't any more, so forget it! Perhaps they should all learn from Sun Microsystems, whose dress code was something along the lines of "Wear something".
After all, I'm sure they'd rather see me in a blouse and skirt than without them.