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Archaic Dresscodes: Mandatory heels

A friend of mine recently spoke to me about her distain for her company’s dress code, it wasn’t so much the clothing she had to wear that was the problem, nor was it the tied up hair, no, what bothered her the most is that wearing heels is mandatory.  My friend works for a popular retailer, if you have ever worked in retail you know that you spend 99% of your shift on your feet. Surely wearing heels for an entire shift, day in day out, is something you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. But this is unfortunately my friend’s reality.  A news story broke on the Guardian yesterday about a women who ‘defied’ her company’s dress code and was swiftly sent home from work, all because she dared to wear flats!  The woman in question, Nicola Thorp, was apprehensive to share her story of blatant discrimination online, eventually she decided to speak out. Thorp posed the question to her former employer “I said, ‘If you can give me a reason as to why wearing flats would impair me to do my job today, then fair enough’, but they couldn’t. I was expected to do a nine-hour shift on my feet escorting clients to meeting rooms. I said I just won’t be able to do that in heels.”  

“Apart from the debilitating factor, it’s the sexism issue. I think companies shouldn’t be forcing that on their female employees.”

  This story about Thorp, draws parallels with my friend’s position. She loves her job dearly, she loves her customers and colleagues, the only thing making life difficult is the store’s unrealistic dress code. In 2016 women still have to battle with archaic social codes and conventions. Why is it in this day and age that these women have their hard work overlooked for simply not wearing a pair of bloody heels.    With the summer sales fast approaching my friend is says it’s time to speak up. I think it is imperative that herself and her colleagues speak to the management about these ridiculous codes ASAP. Her two male colleagues (whom have happy to partake in this mini patriarchal protest) aren’t required to wear uncomfortable footwear (just for aesthetic) so why should the females?  Want to help make a difference? Check out this petition that aims to make it illegal for companies to have heels as mandatory part of the uniform: Petition  

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