The quintessential business casual uniform template for men:
khakis + leather shoes + polo shirt
If only it were so easy for women! Consider the following insightful comment made (several years ago) by Mella DP:
My job: engineering consulting. That often means having to demonstrate credibility in the executive conference room and on the plant floor on the same day. Dressing in a way that works for both situations is tricky. It’s easier for the guys – most men can wear chinos and a polo shirt and and sturdy shoes and look decent and functional (if a little dull). Most women in a similar outfit would look like an Applebees hostess. (Emphasis added.)
The other primary reason, IMO, polos don’t work for women’s business casual is this: historically the polo is athletic wear, making it fall into the leisure category. Although I’m not entirely certain why it is otherwise for men.
My advice? When you hear the word “polo” substitute “sweater”.