Does a Woman's Choice of Shoes in a Workplace Matter?

EOD_Diffusing_The_Negative_Stigma_Blog

Image Courtesy of New York Times

2017 had just started when an article regarding a women’s lack of heels in the workplace was published in the New York Times. We could hardly believe our eyes as we read on. In May 2016, London based receptionist and actress, Nicola Thorp was sent home for wearing flats to work. “The company expected me to do a nine-hour shift on my feet escorting clients to meeting rooms,” Ms.Thorp recalled. “I told them that I just wouldn’t be able to do that in heels.”

Five months later, Ms. Thorp started a petition calling for a law that would make sure no company could ever again demand women to wear heels at workplace. This petition raised awareness of the issue and garnered over 150,000 signatures, furthermore, many professional women were prompted to post photos on Twitter of them defiantly wearing flats. Ms. Thorp’s petition also induced a necessary inquiry overseen by two parliamentary committees; after a long investigation, the committees finally released a report concluding that Portico, the firm that has refused Ms. Thorp’s footwear choice, had broken the law.

The incident has emphasised the outdated and sexist existing law that needs to be toughened. Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society rightly argues that “Employers need to focus on what drives productivity and enables their staff to feel part of a team” and notes that “it isn’t a pair of high heels”. Whilst this rebellion on heels was a protest against sexism and discrimination, it is moreover a matter of public health, considering the negative impact continuous wear of high heels can have on a women’s wellbeing.

Here at EOD, we champion the idea that women are free to choose to wear whatever empowers them. From stylish flats to elegant pumps, we design shoes that women can wear every day with a great level of comfort without compromising their style. Our shoes exude confidence, power, and sexuality, without inflicting the feeling of discomfort or “prostituted” as declared by women who were forced to wear heels to work. We inspire and encourage women to experience the real confidence that comes from within, not from the gaze of others. By spreading this positive message of authentic confidence, self-expression, and freedom we take steps to transform the current distorted projection of how women should look, and how women walk to work every day.

Read the full article here.

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