High heels row: Petition gets 100,000 signatures

media captionNicola Thorp said she was laughed at for asking if male colleagues were also expected to wear heels

A woman has said she is "overwhelmed" after a petition calling for a ban on forcing women to wear high heels at work reached 100,000 signatories.

Nicola Thorp set up the petition after being sent home from her temp job as a secretary after refusing to wear shoes with a "2in to 4in heel".

Outsourcing firm Portico said "with immediate effect all our female colleagues can wear plain flat shoes".

Ms Thorpe said the reaction was "testament to how big the issue is".

The 27-year-old from Hackney, was asked to wear high heels by Portico which provides reception staff for finance company PwC in London.

She set up a petition on Tuesday evening which will now be considered for a debate in Parliament after receiving more than 100,000 signatures.

"I'm so overwhelmed," she said. "It shows it is an important matter and it is a step in the right direction.

"It has opened up a dialogue for women to talk about how they feel at work and how they're dressed."

Ms Thorp said she had received sexist abuse on social media following the story, but it has made her realise "we don't live in a society where women are equal".

"I hope it makes women aware that they don't have to sit and take something just because they are a woman," she said. "Every message just makes a little more determined."

"I'm really glad that so many men signed the petition even though this doesn't directly affect them, it really means a lot."

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image captionThe office in Embankment where Nicola Thorp was told to wear high heels for work by Portico

PwC said the dress code issue involving Ms Thorp at its Embankment offices last December was "not a PwC policy".

Portico managing director Simon Pratt confirmed the change in policy: "All our female colleagues can wear plain flat shoes or plain court shoes as they prefer."

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