Heels At Work Inquiry: Why A Change In The Law is Needed

If you have been on social media recently, you have probably heard of Nicola Thorp – an employee at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) that was sent home because she wasn’t wearing high heels. As ridiculous as it may sound to us at Bonessi Ballerinas, it is still perfectly legal for a UK company to require female employees to wear high heels to work, even against their will. This is why a petition was started by Nicola Thorp to encourage the MPs to investigate the law and how it could be changed. After reaching over 142,000 signatures, we’re thrilled to see that the petition will now be considered for discussion in Parliament.

From a practical perspective, we strongly believe that high heels should NOT be mandatory footwear in the workplace for the following reasons:

1)     Backaches and other injuries – High heels push the body forward, resulting in backaches. One of the top reasons people take days off work is precisely because of backaches, and they’re the most common problem when visiting a doctor (see here). Did you also see the recent story about a waitress in Canada whose feet were cut and bleeding after her boss insisted she wear heels for a shift at work? Safety of employees should always be top priority and this law leaves female employees vulnerable to injury. 

2)     They slow you down – You cannot run or walk particularly fast in high heels (unless you are the guy from the MoneySupermarket.com advert as that’s quite a strut!), so general productivity and the speed at which tasks are completed could well be affected by wearing heels. If high heels are really necessary, we recommend putting them in your bag and changing right before getting into work. One of our favourite ballerinas are the YAS Black Suede - they go with any outfit.

3)   Lastly, it’s sexist! – If a woman can do her job just as well in flats, she shouldn’t be made to wear high heels. It does not affect performance in the slightest, so it shouldn’t be a requirement.

Aside from these obvious points, there’s also the plain and simple fact that a pair of heels is NOT the only way to look stylish and professional in the workplace. Bonessi Ballerinas prides itself on encouraging female empowerment, and when our founder Alix Bonessi started the company last year, he was inspired by his high-flying female friends to create a luxury shoe brand that didn’t only provide exceptional comfort, but was also stylish and classy. 

Alix spent years researching and studying the anatomy of the foot to be able to create a perfect inner sole, one that curves around the heel and the arches of the feet, making them an ideal shoe for any working woman. With Bonessi Ballerinas you get the same empowering look and feel as you get with a pair of high heels and Alix didn’t see why women should have to rush around in uncomfortable heels all day, not when they could look just as sophisticated, successful and stylish in a pair of luxury ballerinas. 

We’ll certainly be keeping our eyes on the progress of this petition, but we’re confident that now this issue has been brought to the public’s attention, they’ll be a change in the law very soon. In the meantime, we’ll be encouraging our own community to share their love for flat shoes with our hashtag #freetheflat.

#FreeTheFlat

See more detail about the petition: Make it illegal for a company to require women to wear high heels at work

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