Bank of England’s sexism to women employees


This March 2017 video from Britain is called DAS TALKS TO NICOLA THORP ABOUT SEXIST DRESS CODES.

Another video used to say about itself:

(12 May 2016) A British receptionist who mustered public support after she was sent home from work for refusing to wear heels has been vindicated.

Nicola Thorp, 27, had been told in December that her flat shoes were unacceptable in London while on assignment. She was sent home without pay after refusing to change her shoes.

But Thorp fought back, writing up an online petition asking for it to be made illegal for employers to require female workers to wear heels at work.

Simon Pratt, the managing director of the Portico employment agency, said Wednesday night the firm had changed its policy to allow workers to wear flat shoes if they prefer.

Thorp’s petition had attracted more than 54,000 signatures before the company’s policy was changed.

From British daily The Independent:

Bank tells staff: Don’t forget the lipstick, girls

Anger over seminar where women employees are given advice on what to wear and how to wear it

By Rachel Shields

Sunday, 1 February 2009

While dress codes are standard in many professions, specifying the colour of heels that should be worn and insisting on make-up is interpreted by many as sexist

The Bank of England came under fire last night for “institutional sexism”, after it held a seminar for female staff to advise them on what clothing, shoes and make-up to wear.

In a week when the IMF announced that the British economy will be the hardest hit of all the developed nations, when strikes erupted across the country and as world leaders gathered in Davos to discuss global recession, senior figures at the Bank turned their minds to lipstick and high heels.

On Wednesday, Bank of England employees gathered for a Dress for Success summit, at which female employees were lectured on the importance of wearing appropriate jewellery and make-up in the workplace.

A memo leaked from the meeting details the advice given to staff, including the warning that wearing certain accessories would make women workers look like prostitutes.

“Look professional, not fashionable; be careful with perfume; always wear a heel of some sort – maximum two inches; always wear some sort of makeup, even if it’s just lipstick,” read the memo. It was distributed by the professional image consultancy firm hired by the bank for the event.

White high heels

“Shoes and skirt must be the same colour. No-nos include ankle chains – “professional, but not the one you want to be associated with” – white high heels; overstuffed handbags; an overload of rings, and double-pierced ears,” it continued.

The Bank of England confirmed yesterday that the session had taken place, but refused to comment further.

Leading equal opportunities solicitors said last night that female employees would have a potential case for legal action against the Bank of England for sexual discrimination. “It is indicative of an institutionally sexist environment. If women are being judged by what they wear, then it suggests that they are being treated differently to male employees,” said Lawrence Davies of solicitors Equal Justice.

“The fact that they are putting the responsibility on independent consultants doesn’t absolve the bank of any sexist behaviour or attitudes that arise from this,” said Mr Davies.

The bank’s actions sparked widespread criticism, with leading City economists, MPs and women’s rights groups all speaking out.

From British daily The Morning Star:

“Many employers in the retail sector force women workers to wear high heels as part of their dress code.

“Wearing high heels can cause long-term foot problems, such as blisters, corns and calluses, and also serious foot, knee and back pain and damaged joints.”

Union members have voted to take a stand against the risks of wearing high heels in the workplace in favour of more “sensible shoes”: here.

As it stands, many female workers, including airline staff and shop workers, are required to wear stilettos as part of a mandatory dress code, a standard which does not apply to men – even though, as Lorraine Jones of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists pointed out, “Two million working days are lost every year through lower limb and foot-related problems. High heels… are not good for the workplace”: here.

ERNST & YOUNG INSTRUCTS WOMEN HOW TO BEHAVE When women speak, they shouldn’t be shrill. “Sexuality scrambles the mind.” Women should look healthy and fit, with a “good haircut” and “manicured nails.” These were just a few pieces of advice that around 30 female executives at global accounting giant Ernst & Young received at training. [HuffPost]

‘THE POLITICS OF PANTYHOSE’ “Corporate dress codes are barometers of the standards of polite society. Between the lines, they also articulate the limits within which power may permissibly intrude on personal space.” [NYT]

ScienceDaily (Sep. 29, 2009) — Women should think twice before buying their next pair of high-heels or pumps, according to researchers at the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife in a new study of older adults and foot problems: here. See also here.

Ralph Lauren model Filippa Hamilton: I was fired because I was too fat! Here.

Furious lecturers have accused Birmingham Metropolitan College of acting like the “fashion police” after they were told they will be sent home to change if they come to work in jeans or scruffy trousers: here.

10 thoughts on “Bank of England’s sexism to women employees

  1. U.S. working women see appearance as key: survey

    Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:28am EDT

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Nearly all U.S. working women believe that their professional appearance is crucial to success at work, and one in five female executives say they have withheld a promotion or a raise due to the way an employee dresses, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

    The poll found that 98 percent feel appearance affected their career, and just 2 percent disagreed.

    The survey was conducted among female professionals, senior managers and business owners by PINK Magazine, a publication for career women, and Corset Personal Styling, a service firm for women.

    Fifty-five percent said they often think they have nothing to wear, and 40 percent said they tend to keep buying clothes that look the same, the survey showed.

    Nearly half said they wear too much black, and a little more than half said they have difficulty finding trendy yet age-appropriate clothes.

    Some 22 percent of the chief executives, top managers and business owners said they had withheld a promotion or raise because of how an employee dresses at work.

    The survey, conducted online for Atlanta-based PINK and Minneapolis-based Corset from September 29 through October 11, polled 137 business owners, chief executives, managers and professionals from PINK’s readership.

    Of those, 36 were chief executives, business owners and top managers, it said. The poll did not include a margin of error.

    (Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Michelle Nichols and Xavier Briand)

    Like

  2. Female staff reject uniforms

    Virgin Trains today delayed the introduction of new uniforms after some female staff said blouses were see-through and too low-cut.

    Female members of transport union TSSA said they felt Richard Branson was cutting corners by asking them to wear “flimsy blouses which are skimpy and too revealing.”

    A Virgin Trains spokesman said the launch of the new uniform had been delayed from this week to the end of the month to allow more feedback from staff.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/132590

    Like

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