Imagine this: You are hired, show up to work the next day, and are told the flats you are wearing aren’t allowed and you should leave to buy yourself some heels. What would your response be to your boss?
This exact situation happened to Nicola Thorp, a London receptionist hired to work for PwC. On her first day of work, December of 2015, she showed up wearing flats all to be told by her employer she needed to wear a “2in to 4in heel.” The receptionist explained how she couldn’t do 9 hours of work on high heels escorting clients to meeting rooms and complained as to why male colleagues were not asked to do the same. She was laughed at and was told to go home without pay.
The outsourcing company, Portico, who placed Thorp in PwC mentioned she had signed the “Appearance Guidelines Agreement” and that this particular case was under review. PwC, however, holds its ground by stating that these dress code rules aren’t those of PwC.
Petition for Workplace Equality
Thorp set up a petition and has collected over 150,000 signatures in efforts to make it illegal for companies to force women to wear high heels in the workplace. With the sufficient amount of signatures, this petition is now being considered for a debate from the Parliament.
Since, Ms. Thorp witnessed an uproar of encouragement on social media from supporters campaigning for flats and equality in the workplace.
I became infuriated when I read this news. How can one’s employment be contingent upon wearing high heels? What ever happened to hiring someone based on experience, ability, and intelligence to take on that role’s demands? Why do women need to be objectified at work- a professional environment. Why?
Think about it. We go to college to get a good education. Wouldn’t you want to be an asset to a firm based on your professional skills rather than for the way you look or the fashion you choose to wear?
I understand there’s a dress code in many industries and that in some companies it’s preferred women dress in feminine attire. But c’mon, to fire someone all because she didn’t wear 2-4 inch heels is absurd.
You might be thinking, “Sasha, aren’t you the biggest advocate for high heels?” I will tell you, “Absolutely, I am! But I also think a woman should wear flats whenever she feels like it too. I believe women love feeling feminine, and if they choose to wear heels to work that morning, they should feel as comfortable as possible, especially while on an 8 hour shift. I think, however, the wrong kind of heels can fatigue your feet, knees, and back and affect one’s concentration, resulting in a more exhausting and less productive workday. For this, choosing the right kind of high heels for work is really important.
What do you think, my Ladies?
Do you think corporations should make it a woman’s choice to wear heels at work, or should it be an expectation to wear heels with professional attire?
Tell us what you think below!