carol parker walsh professional attire

Work Wear: Are We Banning Heels At Work?

By Carol

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When it comes to professional attire for women heels are pretty much the shoe of choice.  Heels have always signaled professionalism, power and a boss attitude. However, there’s another type of shoe that has found prominence in the workplace over the last few years…..the flat. This is particularly true in British Columbia.  A bill was recently passed there to ban “sexist dress codes” that require women to wear heels to work.


With so many women suffering foot injuries and long term issues with foot health from wearing heels for prolonged periods of time, the “Putting Your Best Foot Forward Act” was introduced in 2017 and passed in Ontario just two months ago. Specifically,


Bill 148 changed the Occupational Health and Safety Act to prohibit an employer from requiring its employees to wear “footwear with an elevated heel”.


The requirement of heels is also banned in the Philippines and has gained some traction in the United Kingdom. Anticipating a new direction in footwear, designers have lost no time creating stylish flats to wear in the workplace. With this new movement, women are showing you can still be a boss babe in flats, without the accompanying foot pain.


The New Work Shoe




As  much as you may love a great pair of heels, you can actually have a lot of fun with the options available in a flat. They’ve come a long way from orthopedic options and clogs. Here’s a few stylish ways to wear flats to the office.


carol parker walsh professional attire

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Metallics work as a great neutral shoe that you can wear with anything.

carol parker walsh professional attire

Photo Credit: Girl With Curves

While it’s common to wear flats with pants, a stylish pair can beautifully accent a great dress or skirt.

carol parker walsh professional attire

Photo Credit: Pinterest

If you want to add a bit more personality to your shoe game, try a fun or color print. In this case animal print is also considered a neutral show and it adds a bit of personality to this ensemble.


carol parker walsh professional attire

Photo Credit: Pinterest


If you’re going to go with a ballet flat look for those with extra padding and arch support to give you foot maximum comfort.


Additional Options


While there’s been debates on this topic in the United States, our federal employment discrimination laws (that protect against creating unfair gender based policies) and the advent of the “business casual” dress codes, have informally resolved the issue. Fundamentally, dress code restrictions must be job related and can’t require more of one gender than the other. So unless heels are a job requirement, you have options.


Are you ready to abandon your heels? Looking to up your shoe game with some stylish flats?  Here’s a few fun options for you:



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About The Carol

I'm a 50 years young curvy fashionista enjoying my "second life." I'm a wife, mom of 3 and 1 goldendoodle. I'm a recovering attorney, accidental professor, successful jewelry stylist, and ...