In May, a London woman made headlines when she was sent home from work for refusing to wear high heels. Now, as part of a new inquiry, MPs are inviting women who have been forced to wear heels at work to share their experiences.
In a post on the website for Parliament, the Petitions Committee said that it wants to hear from women who have been ordered to wear heels at work because their “experiences will help us understand the problem”.
The committee added: “It will also give us an idea of how many people this affects and help us to decide what action to recommend to the Government.”
Those who want to share their stories with MPs have until 10am on 16 June to post on the inquiry’s web forum. So far, over 600 women have left a comment about their experiences.
Nicola Thorp launched an online petition titled “Make it illegal for a company to require women to wear high heels at work” after being sent home from a temp job at PwC in May. The petition went viral, sparking a national debate about whether companies should be allowed to dictate female employees’ footwear.
“It’s still legal in the UK for a company to require female members of staff to wear high heels at work against their will,” Thorp wrote in the petition. “Dress code laws should be changed so that women have the option to wear flat formal shoes at work, if they wish. Current formal work dress codes are archaic and sexist.” At the time of writing, the petition had garnered over 142,000 signatures.
At Stylist, we argued that the height of your heel has nothing to do with professionalism or power. And to highlight how ridiculous it is that women can still be ordered to change their shoes at work, we got the men in the Stylist office to wear stilettos for an entire working day. See how they fared below: