One lady complained at an important conference that she had not been accepted into a leadership position just because she is a woman. I paid attention to the loud expression of her body language and I noticed how it affected me. It was obvious that she lives for her work and that she most likely devotes a large part of her life to it. But she probably did not have much time to adjust her appearance that day. Or she simply didn't consider it to be important. It was then that I realized that the problem wasn’t in that she is a woman. I was wondering how others perceive her during her work interview and why we are not allowed to underestimate such things.
The idea that taking care of one’s outward appearance is a superficial thing is probably an idea that some of us still have from the Communist era. The idea that we have to push our way forward with our knowledge and, as the case may be, try to look important, even arrogant if we must. But that is just not how it is. The appearance and energy that we give off, our behavior and presentation, the expression on our face. This is what the people around us see first and what they use to form their original opinion of us. First impressions often decide the outcome.