U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is taking some heat, but it’s not for her political leanings.
At the Trade Unions Congress in Brighton, England, this week, May was called on to ditch her favored colorful, printed heels for more practical footwear. At the conference, a vote was passed to change a law so women are no longer compelled to wear heels at work. Penny Robinson, a delegate at the conference, singled out May, saying that she should lead the way on this change for women in the workplace.
“Our new prime minister might be well known for her leopard-print kittens, but if she really wants to advance the cause for women in the workplace, there are two things she can do,” Robinson said.
“The first is to make a point of wearing pumps, flats and comfortable shoes for her cabinet, PMQs [Prime Minister’s Questions] and for meeting all those EU leaders. Let the media see that you can be the most powerful woman in the country without needing to wear designer shoes to meet men’s expectations.”
The vote comes after the story of Nicola Thorp emerged. When Thorp arrived at her job at accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers’ outsourced reception firm Portico in London, she was told she must wear a heel between two inches and four inches. She was sent home when she refused.
May has not responded to these calls from the conference. But on Sept. 13, she still had her leopard heels in rotation, wearing them for a meeting with Burmese State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi.
Click through the gallery to see more of May’s shoe style.