5 sexist dress codes for women in the workplace around the world


  • Business Insider Japan published an article in October based on a survey of more than 1,400 workers, finding that female workers were being asked to refrain from wearing glasses at work for aesthetic reasons.
  • The hashtag #メガネ禁止, which translates to “glasses are forbidden,” is currently trending on Twitter in Japan, according to The Washington Post.
  • This revelation about glasses follows on the heels of the #KuToo movement started in Japan in early 2019 according to Quartz, which criticizes the widespread practice of employers in Japan requiring that female workers wear high heels.
  • Sexist dress codes for women in the workplace are enforced around the globe, from the US to the UK to France.
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Women are subjected to sexist dress codes — requiring high heels and make up, or banning glasses — in workplaces around the globe.

In Japan, a requirement in workplaces that women not wear glasses for aesthetic reasons is catching flack on social media with the hashtag #メガネ禁止, which translates to “glasses are forbidden,” according to The Washington Post.

“Employers that create and enforce poorly drafted gender-based dress code policies assume the risk of running afoul of gender discrimination laws,” employment attorney Mirande Valbrune wrote about US companies for Forbes in 2018.

“If a policy inappropriately targets or negatively impacts employees of a particular gender, it may be deemed illegal,” Valbrune continued, pointing to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibiting workplace discrimination on the basis of sex.

Here are five sexist dress codes for women in the workplace across the globe, from the US to Japan.

Got a tip on sexist dress codes? E-mail this reporter, Rebecca Aydin, at raydin@businessinsider.com