High Heel Hitches in the Work Place…a Blog by Sophie Cecil

Posted on

The news channels we are tuned into this month are all discussing a really hot topic that has been central to women working since the time when…well women started working. What to wear in the office, what size heel, colour lipstick, hairstyle and beyond.

Following the government report ‘High Heels and Workplace Dress Codes’ by the parliamentary committees for Petition and for Women and Equalities, our leading sector publication – Recruiter released a very interesting statement warning recruiters to review their dress code policy wording so neither gender are discriminated against.

I read this with interest, and then pondered our own policies relating to dress code. I took a cursory glance over our document that we use as guidance for all new employees and at points; I have to admit I giggled. The main message is about dressing appropriately for your role, I think that most staff, management and sensible human being would agree that this was more than acceptable as a point of direction.

Scanning the policy further we also offer a list of items of clothing that potentially wouldn’t be agreeable for an office environment – beach wear, hot pants and cut off shorts. We are based predominantly in South Wales, the weather has not permitted any of these items for the five brilliant years I have been employed here…nor do I suspect has the general demeanour and respect for their roles our staff have.

Our policy is brief – one page, quite succinct and definitely not discriminating against any gender. As one of the few female HR Directors that sits on the senior management teams of leading Welsh businesses it is refreshing and career affirming to know that we set out our parameters in terms of dress code sensibly and on the whole without major restriction.
We work with some brilliant communities that appreciate all sorts of attire from our staff. From our corporate commercial team, who are always suited and booted and ready for action to our ever-so-creative Communications and Marketing Team who sometimes change their hair colour more often than I eat hot dinners, I am proud to survey our teams and declare them fit-for-purpose for the roles they perform.

We win awards, we raise our profit margins annually and our staff retention and satisfaction rates grow year on year. From a New Directions point of view, I am proud to work with a diverse set of employees who express their personalities not only in the high quality of work they produce, but in how they carry themselves in our office environment and beyond.
That we are watching reports like this in 2017 shocks me, I have never judged a book by its cover; I take time to turn the pages, understand the content and try to get the very best from it.

Long may New Directions lead the way in being a progressive employer within the recruitment sector!

*now where did I put my gold lamé jumpsuit*