The hashtag “glasses ban” started trending on Twitter Wednesday, after Japan’s Nippon TV aired a story about companies that require female employees to wear contact lenses instead of glasses. One post decrying such policies racked up almost 25,000 retweets.
One Twitter user said she was told by her previous employer that glasses didn’t appeal to customers, while another said she was compelled to endure the pain of wearing contact lenses while recovering from an eye infection.
But before we guffaw at how ‘backward’ Japan is at how to treat women at work, Lucy McInerney says that the UK isn’t any better:
It would be easy to think that this country almost 6,000 miles away is oh-so-different from us here in the UK and that these kinds of issues no longer affect women in Britain. But dear reader, let me draw your mind back just three years to 2016 when it emerged that PwC receptionist Nicola Thorp was sent home without pay from her job at the accountancy firm for refusing to wear high heels. Thorp’s subsequent petition garnered in excess of 150,000 signatures and was debated in parliament. However, the first attempt in 2017 to introduce legislation safeguarding employees’ rights regarding dress codes failed.