It’s 2016 And A Woman Was Sent Home From Work For Not Wearing Heels

A female receptionist has hit headlines for the sexist treatment she received on a temp job [Photo: Rex]

In a world where women are still fighting for equality, a company chastising a female employee for not wearing high heels is a massive slap in the face. 

But, in 2016, that still happens. 

Nicola Thorp, a 27-year-old from London, was sent home from her temping job at PwC for turning up to the company’s HW in flat shoes. Sent home, we might add, without pay. 

We highly doubt that’s ever happened to a male employee. 

“I expressed my confusion as to why [I was being turned away from work], and they explained that flat shoes are not part of their dress code for women,” she told the Evening Standard.

“The supervisor [from Portico, a company that PwC outsources its reception services to] told me that I would be sent home without pay unless I went to the shop and bought a pair of two to four inch heels. I refused and was sent home.”

But rather than just complain about the insult, Thorp’s taking action and campaigning for it to be made illegal to force women to wear heels - and make-up - to work. 

Why are many working women still encouraged to wear heels when men are fine in flats? [Photo: Rex]

She’s launched a petition on the Parliament website calling for this sexist injustice to end once and for all. If it reaches 10,000 signatures, then the Government has to consider debating the issue. 

“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,” she writes. “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“Current formal work dress codes are outdated and sexist.”

PwC provided the following statement when we reached out for a quote: “PwC outsources its front of house/reception services to Portico who have standard uniform guidelines. We were first made aware of this matter yesterday (10 May), some five months after the event. We are now in discussion with Portico about reviewing the detail of their uniform guidelines.

“The dress code referenced in the media is not a PwC policy. PwC does not have specific dress guidelines for male or female employees, but we ask our people to exercise their own judgement around the business environment they’re operating in.”

We also got in touch with Portico, we assured us that they’re reviewing their guidelines:

“In line with industry standard practice, we have personal appearance guidelines across many of our corporate locations,” a company representative said. “These policies ensure staff are dressed consistently and include recommendations for appropriate style of footwear for the role. We have taken on board the comments regarding footwear and will be reviewing our guidelines in consultation with our clients and team members.”

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