A woman who hit the headlines after being sent home for wearing flats at work has now donated the shoes in question to Hackney museum.
Around six months ago, Nicola Thorp, a 27-year-old Hackney resident, was asked to remove her black flat shoes and wear high heels instead when she was working as a receptionist for Portico – PwC’s outsourced reception firm – at the corporate finance company’s Embankment office.
Portico had a “female grooming policy” which forced female staff to wear shoes between two and four inches high.
When Thorp refused to do so, she was sent home without pay.
She told BBC Radio London: “I said, ‘If you can give me a reason as to why wearing flats would impair me to do my job today, then fair enough’, but they couldn’t. I was expected to do a nine-hour shift on my feet escorting clients to meeting rooms. I said I just won’t be able to do that in heels.”
She then started a petition calling for a change in UK law asking for it to be illegal for employers to impose such a policy on women.
It read: “Dress code laws should be changed so that women have the option to wear flat formal shoes at work, if they wish. Current formal work dress codes are out-dated and sexist.”
The petition has now received more than 149,000 signatures, meaning that it will be discussed in parliament.
Thorp had attended a parliamentary inquiry last month to provide evidence for the legislation change.
To coincide with this, she decided to donate her shoes to the museum’s collection.