Meet Tanya O'Callaghan, Communications Senior Manager

Tanya O’Callaghan is a Senior Manager of Communications at the Canadian Internet Registration Authority. She began her career as a journalist but realized quickly it wasn’t for her. In 2001, Tanya switched gears to a career in communications and over the last 15 years she’s worked with charities, professional associations and now, the organization best known for managing the Canada’s Internet domain. Alongside her career, her style has evolved from the formal attire of the agency world to the ‘anything goes’ dress code of her current role.

Tanya says her wardrobe shifted from planned ‘Casual Fridays’ where she wore khakis and a golf shirt or cotton blouse at an agency to jeans and sweaters at a charity. “The transition was hard for me. Wearing casual, comfortable clothes at work was fun for a while, but I quickly realized that I missed dressing up a bit, shopping for nice clothes, and putting some time and effort into what I look like.”

At the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, the office vibe is on the casual side and in turn so is the dress code. It’s not uncommon for Tanya and her colleagues to wear jeans, hoodies a pair of vans in the winter and casual shorts, t-shirts and sandals in the summer, none of which are even remotely a uniform.

“I continue to adopt a dressier style and I’ve never felt out of place wearing what I like. It’s great to have found a place where I can be myself but where the expectation is also flexible enough that I can experiment a bit. Funky jewelry? Crazy hair colour? No problem here. I won’t lie. It’s also nice to work somewhere where it’s okay to show up in jeans and a hoodie every now and then when you’re having a rough morning.

Tanya loves the versatility of Grayes and that the brand is made in Canada by Canadians for Canadians. At the Ottawa panel, Tanya’s wore favourite piece is the Camo Structured Top. “I love it because it is so versatile and perfect for my personal and professional style. It’s easy to dress up with nice pants, fancy shoes or some jewelry and it can also be dressed down with a pair of jeans and boots for a dinner out with friends.”

When it comes to fashion advice, Tanya has two tips for other professional women: emulate your superior’s level of style and be yourself. She has her own unique take on her personal style. “I love big, bold colours and almost always find a way to integrate that into my daily look. My favourite clothing items are bright blazers, which I tone down with simple black pants and shirts. I also love bold pattern shirts or big, chunky, bright necklaces. I also used to go for wild hair colourbright red, fuchsia, purple. But this year I’m trying to truly be my authentic self by embracing the grey. We’ll see how long that lasts!”

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