A majority of Japanese companies where in person customer service takes place, such as banks and airline companies, have dress codes requiring women to wear high heels. Women in Japan have begun demanding to be able to choose their work shoes in a movement known as #KuToo, a combination of #MeToo and the Japanese words for shoes "kutsu" and pain "kutsuu". Many women want to discard heels for more comfortable shoes, as high heels can cause lower back pain and bunions.
Kyodo News conducted a poll of 32 companies, which included airline companies, banks, insurance companies, department stores, hotels, and cell phone companies. Of the 28 that responded, 20 said they either have rules requiring or encouraging female employees to wear high heels. Three other companies said they do not have mandatory rules but say their guidelines of professional attire includes heels. (Sounds mandatory to me.) Some of the companies responded that they enforce the heels requirement because they want to preserve the professional look of the uniform or because they want to avoid making the customers feel uncomfortable. Of those 20 companies, only two said they would reconsider their rules toward heels. Of the 16 airline companies that responded, 15 specified the height and width of the heels worn by female flight attendants. Japan Airlines requires them to be 3 to 4.5 centimeters wide and 3 to 4 cm tall. All Nippon Airways says the heel must be between 3 and 5 cm in height and width.
What do you think about these shoe rules? Are you required to wear heels where you work? Do you wear heels because you like them? Inquiring minds want to know.