Why is PwC doing this?
PwC continues to change many existing policies to market to millennial recruits. They aren’t too concerned with marketing to baby boomers who might lean towards a more conservative approach to clothing in the workplace. PwC has also implemented a plan to help new recruits pay back student loans.
PwC is doing this to compete with silicon valley companies and other startups that don’t believe the way you dress influences your work. Accounting is becoming less sexy and less attractive to millennials as a career. PwC is trying to change this.
The problem with this approach is that most startups practice what they preach and have flat hierarchies. This means that everyone’s viewpoint has equal weighting. Therefore adopting a casual dress code allows everyone to feel that they are on the same level.
I think PwC thinks that they are moving towards the same approach, but I would disagree with that. The very business model of the big 4 accounting firms is built around a rigid hierarchy. All decisions begin and end with partners as they are the owners of the firm.
The primary reason that the big 4 accounting firms love young people in the firm is because the differential between what young associates make versus their billing hour is passed to the partners. Young people are ok with this because they come in with no skills and are happy to have a job.
The money made by the largest demographic of the firm is passed on to the smallest amount of people within the firms. In other words, the partners profit greatly off of the sweat equity of associates and senior associates.
If you want to become a partner someday, it is important that you navigate the flexible dress code appropriately. To do this, you should read on to the next section.