I fully support Nicola Thorp, the temporary receptionist who refused to wear high heels at her assignment at accountancy firm PwC. What a sexist and impractical policy.
In my experience as a receptionist, I was told by a young twenty-something female boss to wear make up. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t, after all, it is a free country and I had to be there for 7am after all, so getting up much earlier could be a real nuisance. I also felt that if I didn’t wear much make up, I would get less sleazy customers hanging round my desk and get less sexist comments. As a woman, it is up to us, not the company if we want to put on some slap anyway.
I generally wear flat shoes or one inch heels at the workplace, and I have never had a problem. My job involved doing a lot of walking, and going up flights of stairs. One of my main reasons for not wearing high heels is safety. I can avoid tripping, getting my feet stuck in wooden floor boards, damaging carpets and I can run to escape things. I can’t walk in very high heels at all, and they get ruined so quickly whch is timeconsuming and expensive. In over 30 years, I have never had any company comment on this issue. Only stupid companies would do this. I am very happy with my good quality Clarks shoes.
I was lucky enough to be allowed to wear smart trousers, and not get any grief from wearing these, though if I wore a skirt and didn’t shave my legs I would have got my knuckles wrapped for that.
Working in companies is about now about image. In fact you could be a really horrible person inside, but the fact that you ‘look the part’ you are more likely to get that job. I have seen some staff who look ‘good’, but have run away with the office cash. Integrity is more important than image.
Big companies are getting more institionalised, and our private lives are now ‘becoming part of the working life’ as staff get into trouble for posting unsuitable things on Facebook that their company may not agree with.
They are even encroaching onto your charity work too. One organisation I worked at didn’t like me having a Charity sponsorship form at the my desk, as he thought it may ‘upset’ customers. I was asked to remove it. There was nothing in the contract telling me not to do this.
I would love to hear from others about what petty rules their workplaces inflicted upon them, and did you stand up to them?
It is time we did what Nicola Thorp did, and stand up to corporate bullies and petty rules.
Please sign the Petition on https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/129823. There are now over 100, 000 signatures and I am pleased that this issue will now be debated in Parliament.