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Tech at the Core, Style All Around for Ada Lovelace Day

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Welcome to the latest edition of Working It, where Racked takes street style to the next level—the office. The litmus test of the true style-savvy is how she (or he) rocks a look on any old day to work. Forget the pedestrian khakis and buttondowns—these fashionable professionals take the office dress code to a whole other dimension. Quick, somebody call HR!

[Photography: James Atkins Photography]

Powerful women are not as hard to come by as they used to be--think Hillary Clinton, Melinda Gates, Michelle Obama. A great example of a woman who took an industry by storm is British-born mathematician Ada Lovelace. Today, October 16, just happens to be Ada Lovelace Day.

Though she was living in the 1800s, Ada Lovelace Day started in 2009 and continues to live on as a celebration designed to inspire and provide role models for women in the fields of technology, mathematics, and engineering. Surely her mentors, Charles Babbage & Mary Sommerville, are proud to see their protege, the "Enchantress of Numbers," leave a legacy due to her mastery of the sciences.

Ada's claim to fame was participating in the theoretical development of an "analytics engine" roughly equivalent to a computer. It was designed but never constructed due to Ada's passing after a struggle with cancer. Every year on this day, blogs recognize powerful women the world over, paying special attention to women in the tech industry.

With Ada in mind, Chicago-based ThoughtWorks, a technology consultancy providing business solutioning and software development, has agreed to offer up several women who totally "work it." ThoughtWorks spans 24 offices in 10 countries with over 2,000 staff members, yet their employees still remain as down to earth as Chicagoans are known to be. This is quite a feat of diplomacy considering that over 1/3 of "ThoughtWorkers" have worked in a country other than their citizenship. The company fosters the goal of promoting better humanity through technology and strives to be a role model for companies of the future.

Keep in mind that this is a global company and we're only profiling five women in the HQ. Think of how many other smart, sassy, and creative ladies are serving as role models for women considering careers in technology around the world. They must be ready for a client meeting in the morning, a business casual lunch, after work drinks and even a midnight flight at the drop of the hat. Dressing the part must be hard!

[Photography: James Atkins Photography]
Ryanne Baynham, Recruitment Marketing Associate
How do you describe your style? Grandma punk. Although we have a *very* casual dress code here at ThoughtWorks, I'm a Southern lady and enjoy dressing up way to much to do jeans and a tee everyday - although I do appreciate and take advantage of that option, too.
What's your style advice? Whether is $5 or $500, don't buy anything that you're not in love with.

Ryanne is wearing a dress and cardigan by J.Crew, shoes from Stuart Weitzman, and vintage glasses that belonged to her great-grandmother, Monena. Oh, and her tattoos are done by Jeb at Flyrite Tattoo in Brooklyn.

[Photography: James Atkins Photography]
Chisara Nwabara, Agile Analyst
How do you describe your style? Modern eclectic...I wear what I want, toss a lot of old and new together, love a good deal and to DIY, but also believe in investing in quality when necessary.
What's your style advice? Confidence is the best accessory you could possibly wear. It's ok not to match, but please do coordinate the hell out of it (and yes, coordination and matching are two different things). If it's not a 10/10 or higher, don't waste your money...like men, there are too many fish in the sea to waste resources on anything but the best.

Chisara is wearing a vintage capped sleeve lace leotard from her aunt's closet, harlequin tights from New Look in Britain and a green and blue knit pinstripe circle skirt from a store called Revival in Akron, Ohio. Chisara is accessorizing the outfit with red wooden studs from Kohls, a vintage mesh pendant necklace she bought at a rummage sale, and refurbished navy Salvatore Ferragamo oxfords from a thrift store, and a Nerf gun...a nod to the fact that guerilla dartfare is one way she likes to break the tension in the office.

[Photography: James Atkins Photography]
Audrey Conceicao, Resource Management & Business Analyst
How do you describe your style? I usually go for the classic meets color look.
What is your style advice? For me, shopping is love at first site, if you don't love the outfit then you will never love it so don't buy it! Always carry an extra pair of comfortable black shoes, you never know how much you might need to walk for an unplanned event/dinner after work and black can be paired up with any outfit!

Audrey is wearing an Abercrombie & Fitch plaid skirt, a Banana Republic button down top, jewelry from Ann Taylor, and Della Morena Shoes.

[Photography: James Atkins Photography]
Rebecca Sliter, Software Developer
How do you describe your style? Since I joined ThoughtWorks I've begun dressing a lot simpler. Since I have to plan my outfits a week at a time (I travel every week!) I tend to stick to preppy basics with a few accent pieces. Typically I'll pack neutral cardigans and dark pants and then throw a fun printed scarf or bright skirt at the top of my luggage.
What is your style advice? I find accessorizing to be a lot less intimidating with a neutral palette! Because most of my clothes are in subdued colors I can add a crazy scarf or bright nails without worrying about it clashing with my outfit. It's also an easy way of making pieces I've owned for awhile seem new.

Rebecca is wearing a camel sweater from J. Crew, black cropped pants which are also from J. Crew, and patent leather pumps from Cole Haan.

[Photography: James Atkins Photography]
Jenny Wong Business analyst (aka trouble-magnet); Practice Lead for North America.
How can you describe your personal style? It would be architecture-sophisticated. Every piece that I choose as my outfit is very structural and intentional, that nothing was just put together without thought. I tend to build my wardrobe collection from literally across the globe! With ThoughtWorks I travel a lot so the perks are that I get to go shopping along the way; I'm wearing an outfit that was sourced from 3 different continents!
What is your style advice? Play with the colour palette that suits your personality. Choose pieces that will last, as opposed to throw-away fashion. I'm a bit of a shoe-addict so my advice would always include beautiful shoes, whether they go with your work, work-social or social lives As a travelling consultant, you need to look professional from all hours of the day, what you wear needs to reflect that as well so it's quite important you dress the part. This does not at all mean you are stuck with the boring stuff though; inject some colours that will pop, make you feel happy, comfortable and be more you.

Jenny is wearing a coat from Vero Moda, a jumper from Massimo Dutti, a skirt and necklace from Club Monaco. Her glasses are from marc by marc jacobs, the shoes by Melissa and her bag is by Prada.
· ThoughtWorks [Official Site]
· Ada Lovelace Day [Official Site]
· ThoughtWorks Celebrates Ada Lovelace Day [ThoughtWorks]

ThoughtWorks

200 E Randolph, Chicago Il