Many jobs require employees to look smart at work. Unfortunately, what counts as ‘smart’ can be highly problematic. Just two stories from London that happened to cross my desk this week:
‘Leila’ (not her real name) has been told by her employer several times that she needs to wear a weave to work, because her afro hair is not sufficiently smart, left in its natural state. Cultural norms for what counts as ‘smart’ workwear should not be based on white people’s racial features.
And Nicola Thorp was sent home from work for wearing flat shoes instead of high heels. High heels are often uncomfortable and can cause problems with the knees, spine, ankles, pelvis, and toes. What counts as ‘smart’ shouldn’t include footwear that is likely to cause muscular-skeletal problems.
Can’t quite believe both of those needed saying.