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Kathryn Parsons, 32, is co-founder of Decoded, an education start-up that teaches computer coding in a day from offices in London, New York and Singapore. She won the New Generation prize at the 2013 Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year awards.

Dress by Antonio Berardi

I almost always wear dresses in the workplace and have done since my early days in advertising. I lean towards pieces that are unashamedly feminine and fashion-conscious, hence why I love the lace panelling and fitted tailoring here. A sense of feeling both attractive and polished in the tech world – best known for sloppy male dressers – is important, because it helps me stand out from the crowd. For the same reason, I tend to go for bright colours. A muted monochrome suit is not the way I want to present either myself or our business to the wider world.

Hair and nails by Cowshed Spa, Shoreditch House

Being well-groomed is an important part of my working wardrobe. It allows me to be more efficient. I regularly work 20-hour days, so I don’t have time to worry about chipped polish or bad hair. I need to be focusing on bigger decisions.


Jewellery: silver claddagh necklace

I’m half-Irish so the claddagh, which stands for love, loyalty and family, has a real resonance for me. It was a gift from my boyfriend Michael [Acton Smith, chief executive of Mind Candy] and I wear it every day – it’s fast becoming my signature piece. Because I tend to wear eye-popping colours and clothes, my jewellery is simple, understated and meaningful.

Bag by Kate Spade

I long for a soft-hued and structured designer bag. However, the reality of my job is that I need a dark, cavernous tote within which I can fit my multitude of portable devices, including a laptop, iPad and two phones. I bought this because it is durable and professional-looking – and black goes with everything.


Shoes by Lucy Choi

I’ve got a fixation with glitter, so footwear with a touch of sparkle is a way of bringing it to my wardrobe without undermining myself in the workplace. A shoe that takes me from day to night is also vital, as I regularly attend evening events. I’m not tall, so I always wear heels. I want to feel empowered when in group conversation, not head and shoulders below what is being said.


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