A 27-year-old woman in London has been in the news for how she was treated by a temp agency on her first day on the job.
Nicola Thorp, who considers her formal career to be as an actress, was sent home by the temp agency Portico without pay, for neglecting to wear high heels to work.
Portico, hiring on behalf of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), told Thorp that she not only had to wear heels, but they had to be 2 to 4 inches high. In response, Thorp has started a petition and social media campaign highlighting how ludicrous she sees the policy to be.
Thorp found out by calling an employment-right helpline, that in England, it is permissible for employers to impose such a dress code in the workplace. This double-standard— men are allowed to wear flat shoes— caused sufficient consternation in Thorp that she decided to take matters into her own hands.
Currently, Thorp’s petition to make it so women don’t have to wear heels at work has over 61,000 signatures. This means that the petition will be addressed by the British government, as only 10,000 signatures are needed for such.
Should the petition obtain 100,000 signatures, it will go up for debate at Parliament. Thorp is very likely to change policy in the United Kingdom.
It should be noted that PwC is British, but they do not actively enforce the rule that female employees wear heels.
Thorp’s campaign sparked the relatively widespread use of the #myheelsmychoice hashtag, which if nothing else, shows the power of the internet.