Double-Entrendre Tie

Issue: Women’s lack of self-confidence

“I need to look out for myself even though my boss says that he is looking out for me”

Although men and women are equally uncomfortable during workplace negotiations, most men will ask through that discomfort; women won’t. It can be a challenge to ‘put yourself out there,’ ‘have the courage,’ or to be ‘brave enough’ when a quick-witted boss with a reassuring smile says that if he could, he would give you a promotion.

How can design be used to both create and disguise a signal that elicits self-confidence?

Accompanying the below slideshow are real quotes from a woman who fantasized giving the tie to her boss.


“I like the idea of giving it to him, and it being a cue I actually gave myself. He would wear it sporadically, and it would be a good reminder every time he wore it.”

“If I had a conversation with him while he was wearing it, it would be a symbol – a constant reminder that I need to look out for myself even though he says that he is looking out for me.”

“I really love the tie because its about being able to speak without using words. It’s such a useful thing; it’s subtle enough but so powerful.”

“I can imagine thinking, ‘God, I hope he’s wearing it today,’ if I needed to talk to him.”

“It gives you power; it’s something he doesn’t know about; a way for women to be equal.”

These project is part of a larger project: Engaging the Unspoken.