One small step for man

Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 by Jess AlfertNo comments

How is it that in 2017 women are still protesting for equal rights in the workplace?

Trump’s abortion legislation heightened the concerns of millions of women worldwide, leading to international crisis marches across the globe. Many are apprehensive of Trump’s recent rise to power and believe he is threatening the security of the democracy with his unsolicited approach.

Women’s rights in the workplace were recently put under the spotlight when it was reported that a young woman was told that she either wore heels to work or risked losing her job. Nicola Throp, who worked for a leading City firm in London, told the BBC of how she was ridiculed because of her refusal to wear heels during her 9-hour working day. Not only was she told to go home, unpaid, but she would also be required to wear between 2 – 4 inch heels if she wanted to remain employed.

What’s more questionable is that it is legal for employers to require female employees to wear high heels. This caused much public outrage, and has been highly criticised, as the requirement is not only sexist but also out-dated. Historically, high heels were used by aristocratic women purely for cosmetic reasons, to either raise height or to keep feet and dresses clean. So why should women be forced to wear heels at work?

Supporters argue that high heels support formal dress codes required by some firms and lead to a more professional appearance. But should the shoes you wear really determine whether you are a professional, or make you any less skilled at your job? The most pressing concerns are, of course, the health implications of the prolonged wear of high heels.

The Royal Society of Podiatrists and Chiropodists state that not only do heels damage the joints of the feet but they can also lead to the development of arthritis and increase the likelihood of osteoarthritis. Short-term problems include mechanical wear and tear around the knee joints, bunions and tight calves – to name a few. Recent research indicates that it only takes 1 hour 6 minutes and 48 seconds to impact the wearer.

The recent press exposure prompted 152,400 citizens to sign a petition calling for this particular dress code requirement to be illegal. This petition received 52,000+ signatures above the threshold for parliamentary recognition, showing it has been widely supported. As a result, the government are taking action to ensure that the barriers to equality at work are removed by not only tackling the gender pay gap and increasing the number of females on boards but also by ensuring they are supporting childcare costs and by ensuring that employers uphold obligations for pregnant women.

Ultimately, it is more than reasonable for employers to set formal dress codes, as long as there is an equivalent level for men. Essentially comfort and smartness should be compatible.

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