25th January 2017

This week, MPs published a report asking for the law on workplace dress codes to be toughened up.

The report, ‘High Heels and Workplace Dress Codes’, followed the case of receptionist Nicola Thorp, who was sent home from work for not wearing high heels. It found troubling cases of inequality at work when it comes to dress codes and, according to The Guardian, the MPs found that the Equality Act 2010, “is not yet fully effective in protecting employees from discrimination at work”.

The BBC points towards the medical grounds for enforcing the law more forcefully. Their article on the report states that The College of Podiatry found that, “high heels cause pain for a fifth of women within just 10 minutes. On average it said ill-fitting high heels are painful after 1 hour, 6 minutes and 48 seconds”.

By way of contrast, The Daily Mail have published an article about Kate Moss’s beauty guru declaring, “Women need to wear make-up to get ahead in life”. Worryingly, I feel she may be correct but what does it say about society that women are judged by their appearance as much as, if not more than, their ability to do the job? If men were subjected to the same standards, would Donald Trump be President? Bill Gates a billionaire businessman? And should George Clooney be made to wear high heels the next time he collects an Oscar? He may walk better in them than I do!

The effects these apparent double standards have on women’s mental health also need to be considered.

Interestingly, the subject of Body Image is one of the topics discussed on WHISC’s Women’s Health Training Course – starting on Monday 27th February. Other topics covered include Women In The Media, The Menopause, Mental Health, Cancer, Bereavement, Healthy Eating, PMS, Assertiveness and Confidence to name a few.

The course is also designed to help you gain insight into issues relevant to women, and improve self-esteem, confidence and skills. Not only that but, on successful completion of the 16-week course, you will be awarded 6 credits at Level 2 by ‘Open Awards’.

To apply for the course, please contact WHISC for an application form. They will also be very happy to answer any questions you have about the course.