LONDON (Web Desk) – A 27-year-old receptionist was fired from work in London after refusing to wear high heels.
Temp worker Nicola Thorp was told by staff at consulting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers that she had to wear shoes with a “2 to 4 inch heel”.
When she refused and complained that male colleagues were not asked to do the same, she was sent home without pay.
BBC quoted Portico, the outsourcing firm which had intially placed Thorp at PwC, as saying that Ms Thorp had “signed the appearance guidelines”. However, following the incident, it said it would now review them.
On the other hand, PwC has said the dress code was “not a PwC policy”.
Thorp said she would have struggled to work a full day in high heels and had requested to wear flat shoes she had worn in other offices.
Instead she was was told she should go and buy a pair of heels on her first day, back in December.
“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,” Ms Thorp told BBC Radio London.
“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.”
Ms Thorp said she asked if a man would be expected to do the same shift in heels, and was laughed at.
She then spoke to friends about what had happened, and after posting on Facebook realized that other women had been asked to do the same as well.
“I was a bit scared about speaking up about it in case there was a negative backlash,” she said. “But I realised I needed to put a voice to this as it is a much bigger issue.”
She has since set up a petition calling for the law to be changed so women cannot be forced to wear high heels to work. She believes that the government must respond to the petition since it has over 100,000 signatures.