Sole Searching: High Heels and Powerful Women

How often do you associate powerful confident businesswomen with a pair of 3-4 inch high heels? Much of our media displays images of powerful women wearing a pair of pumps which communicates to us that towering women in heels are successful. But should high heels carry this kind of power for women in professional environments?

Studies have found that  women wearing a pair of pumps will be viewed more as sexual objects and are not taken as seriously as their male counterparts. On the other hand, if a woman decides to wear flats, she might be viewed as physically smaller and less powerful than the men in the office, which plays on the idea that she is thus less capable. Yes, size matters when you’re at the office.

Statistics show that there is hope for the women out there who suffer through heels in order to feel professional. Between 1986 and 2003, women who wore high heels dropped 21 percent according to the Spine Health Institute. Additionally, only 31 percent of women who wear high heels regularly say they wear them to work, otherwise they are only reserved for special occasions.

What really needs to happen is a shift in perspective about high heels. If a woman feels confident in high heels, then she should be able to wear them without being objectified by her coworkers. If a woman wants to wear flats, she shouldn’t be considered as a less confident and capable woman.

No matter your shoe choice, it is crucial to be informed about how high heels can physically affect a woman’s body. Check out the infographic below.