Sexist dress codes at British corporations

This 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

4 Reasons School Dress Codes Are Sexist | Decoded

Is your school’s dress code sexist? While showing up to school naked might be everyone’s worst nightmare, being shamed and punished for wearing a skirt that is slightly too short or spaghetti straps that are little too thin is a real problem students (and female students in particular) face every day.

Another video, from Britain, used to say about itself:

25 January 2017

Women ‘told to wear sheer blouses’ as part of a uniform

Nicola Thorp was sent home from work for refusing to wear high heels.

She told the BBC: “It made me realise that actually my employer didn’t want me to just look smart and professional, they wanted me to look attractive.”

Scarlet Harris from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) said employers needed to “get over it”.

MPs said on Wednesday the government must enforce the law properly to ban sexist dress rules at work that discriminate against women.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Today, 15:40

Sexist dress codes for women, such as the compulsory wearing of tights and high heels at work, are commonplace among UK corporations. This shows an investigating committee of the British Parliament, which was set up following a petition which received massive support.

British receptionist Nicola Thorp began the petition last year when she was dismissed from her job because she refused to walk all day in high heels. In a short time the petition was signed more than 150,000 times.

The requirements of the agency where Thorp worked:

– It is mandatory for women to wear shoes with heels from 5 to 10 centimeters

– You have to wear make-up and regularly re-apply it

– It is mandatory to wear tights, but these are not allowed to be transparent

British law states that requirements for men and women should be equal. The members of the inquiry recognize that this rule is not observed in many sectors. Especially in the hospitality, travel and staffing industry things often go wrong.

MPs want government to impose fines on companies that discriminate against their employees. The report of the committee says that often discriminatory dress codes are in low paid jobs for young people that also get temporary contracts. There should be an awareness campaign.

The committee has identified 730 complaints through an online forum. “I came in one morning at my work and my boss approached me about my clothing and shoe choice. I had to look sexy, and that meant I had to wear high heels,” said a woman [Jasmine] at the forum.

She complained to her boss because she had to stand all day for her work and because high heels hurt her. “When I asked him if I could exchange my shoes for flats, he replied, what woman cannot walk well in heels?”

Founder Thorp says that her petition was initially about wearing heels, but is happy that its action has uncovered how much discrimination there is in British workplaces.

7 thoughts on “Sexist dress codes at British corporations

  1. Wednesday 25th January 2017

    posted by Lamiat Sabin in Britain

    FEMALE workers have been told to bleach their hair, wear revealing outfits and constantly reapply makeup, a Commons inquiry on workplace dress codes has found.

    More than 150,000 people signed a petition in support of London receptionist Nicola Thorp, who refused to wear high heels at finance company PricewaterhouseCoopers, prompting an inquiry and the parliamentary report published yesterday.

    Ms Thorp had been told to wear shoes with a “2 to 4-inch heel” and complained male colleagues were not asked to do the same. She was sent home without pay.

    The petitions committee and women & equalities committee said they found that this was not an isolated incident.

    The report said: “We heard from hundreds of women who told us about the pain and long-term damage caused by wearing high heels for long periods in the workplace, as well as from women who had been required to dye their hair blond, to wear revealing outfits and to constantly reapply makeup.

    “The government has said that the existing law is clear and that the dress code that prompted this petition is already unlawful. Nevertheless, discriminatory dress codes remain widespread.

    “It is therefore clear that the existing law is not yet fully effective in protecting employees from discrimination. We call on the government to review this area of the law and to ask Parliament to change it.”

    Feminist campaign group the Fawcett Society told the inquiry that requiring women to abide by “ridiculous” dress codes, often of a sexualised nature, suggested that their appearances were of more value than their skills.

    It cited examples of women being asked when working in a casino to carry makeup to be used whenever using the bathroom. Other workers were criticised for wearing loose clothing on a hot day.

    Petitions committee chair Helen Jones said: “The government must now accept that it has a responsibility to ensure that the law works in practice as well as in theory.”

    It’s unacceptable that women are being told to wear painful, inappropriate shoes and uniforms, said TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady.

    She added: “With employment tribunals costing up to £1,200, many women can’t afford to challenge sexist policies. If ministers are serious about enforcing equality legislation then they should scrap tribunal fees immediately.”


  2. Pingback: Racism and anti-racism in NASA history | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Canadian women’s mandatory high heels abolished | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: British Conservatives pro-forcing high heels on women workers | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Friday 23rd June 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    TRADE unionists are calling for a worker at Watford General Hospital to be reinstated after he was suspended for rolling his trousers up as temperatures hit 30°C this week.

    Managers at multinational private contractor Medirest had told porters and cleaners they must wear full-length polyester black trousers and banned three-quarter length ones — and followed the edict up on Wednesday by suspending GMB union safety representative Michael Wood.

    Medirest has been in a heated argument with GMB over its detailed guidelines, which include instructions on where to get a drink of water. The union is arguing the firm should simply allow rest breaks, bottled water and shorter, lighter trousers.

    GMB representative Michael Dooley said: “The NHS managers in Watford General have adopted a reasonable approach.

    “However, Medirest consider suspending safety reps is the preferred option, which may intimidate others into submission.”


  6. Pingback: International Women’s Day, not International Corporations’ Day | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: Spectacles ban for Japanese women workers | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.