A report published this week by a Parliamentary committee claims that "some women are still being forced to wear high heels, make-up and revealing clothes by some employers."
A news piece in The Independent reports that the committee heard evidence that a black woman applying for a position at Harrods, the luxury department store, had been asked to chemically straighten her hair.
While it is lawful to expect employees to dress approximately, the scenario is a reminder that unreasonable dress codes could not only be discriminatory but also attract unwanted headlines. While the Harrods' case is an extreme example, any business with a dress code that could be perceived as draconian would be well advised to review policy for legal and reputational reasons.
A black woman applying for a position at the high-end department store Harrods was last year told to chemically straighten her hair if she wanted the job. Black women are under pressure to remove braids or to use chemical relaxers on their hair to make it look “professional”, a Parliamentary committee has heard, as MPs urged the Government to clamp down on sexist workplace dress codes. A report published on Wednesday by two parliamentary committees, for Petitions and for Women and Equalities, also claims that women are still being forced to wear high heels, make-up and revealing clothes by some employers.