Any woman who has walked in heels knows that after about an hour or so, the pointed toe and inflexible material force each step to become more like a painful hobble. Toes are squished together, blisters form and the unnatural curve of the shoe can even result in shin splints. Sounds like torture, right?
Unfortunately, for many women, that’s just a typical workday. While some women allow themselves to suffer in silence, one woman came forward to point out just how unfair this practice really is.
Nicole Gavins, from Edmonton, Canada, shared a shocking picture of her friend’s feet on Facebook after her shift working in a restaurant. The image shows a pair of bloody toes with a caption explaining the gruesome image: “To anyone I know who eats at Joey Restaurants…Their policy is still that female staff wear heels unless medically restricted, my friends feet were bleeding to the point she lost a toe nail and she was still discouraged and berated by the shift manager for changing into flats (specifically told that heels would be required on her next shift the following day).”
(Image courtesy of Facebook/Nicole Gavins)
Berated for switching into flats after bloodying her own feet just to follow the dress code? If this isn’t a pure example of hypocritical standards for women in the workplace, we don’t know what is. Nicole also revealed that female staff have to purchase their own uniform at $30, while men can simply use black clothing from their own closets.
So, men can wear comfortable shoes and use their own clothing, while women must walk in heels to the point of injury and purchase a dress for the job using their own money.
Surprisingly, Joey Restaurants responded to the post, releasing a statement that said, “Our current shoe guidelines require both male and female employees to wear a black dress shoe that is non-slip with a thick sole for safety reasons. Under this guide, they choose what is comfortable for them. There is no minimum height when it comes to our shoe policy. Shoes range from black dress flats, wedges and heels. For those employees wearing heels, we require the heel height to be no higher than 2.5.”
So, is this a case of workplace miscommunication? Or an example of an overzealous manager buying into sexist beauty ideals? We don’t know. But what we do know is that neither men nor women should have to suffer through a work shift in pain due to unfair dress code guidelines.