When we think about whether people should have clothing requirements in the workplace,perhaps our first instinct is to think employers should be permitted to require anything they like,after all they’re paying their employees for their work.
You have a free will.
So if you decide to work there you have to accept the rules and regulations that apply.
But this clearly isn’t going to work.
For example, we wouldn’t think it was appropriate for employers to require their workers to come to work naked!
If there were women who were determined to work for that employerthen I would tell those women they’d better get their bodies ready to be seen naked.
I would propose a two-fold test on any dress code or uniform requirement that an employer might use.
The first is: is the dress code harmful, or very, significantly uncomfortable.
Secondly, does it reinforce sexist, racist or otherwise discriminatory norms.
Skirts and heels…I don’t see a need to dictate that for women.
Demanding that men wear a tie might be onerous in one sense in the sense that it’s sexist only men have to do it,and you might think that a tie is somewhat less comfortable than not wearing a tie.
But it’s a different requirement from requiring a woman to wear a skirt or high heelsbecause the tie gives the impression of being professional and capable and competent and powerful,whereas a skirt or high heels reinforces the sexist idea that women should be primarily objectified –their attractiveness is the most important thing.