brynpoeth wrote:At work we must wear safety shoes but some of the ladies prefer not to, although the shoes are free, light and comfortable, one has ones own pair ( no need to share)
Can anyone explain?
Sorry about the long post...
Safety shoes are designed by men, for men. Many women do not find them comfortable. I have worn them all of my working life, and have always struggled to find any that fit well enough to wear for more than an hour or so. When I began my working career, it was difficult to even find them in my size. I often wore them a little too big because it gave me many more choices about type and style. If they did have them in my size they often were clearly meant for temporary wear, rather than all day.
My employers have sometimes been entirely unreasonable about this issue, as well. I once had to get a medical exemption because my employer wanted me to wear one of the brands that they purchased bulk stock of. Unfortunately, even in my size, they damaged my feet, and my employer refused to buy me safety shoes that actually fit. They also made me jump through hoops to get permission to wear certified safety footwear that I purchased myself
In the last 15 years or so, safety shoes for women have become much better, but even so, if I visit suppliers or clients in the USA or the UK, I take my own with me. I am otherwise likely to end wearing something that is extremely uncomfortable. The last time I failed to do so, I was given some slip-over toetector things that came in sizes small, medium and large. Small was too big for me (I take roughly a women's 8 or men's 6, so not tiny feet). I did my best, but they rubbed blisters on my feet. When I said something (politely) about it, the sales rep at our supplier actually told me that if women didn't wear such unsuitable shoes, I wouldn't have a problem. I was wearing plain black flats, and he was wearing expensive Italian leather dress shoes.
I suggested that providing safety shoes only in men's sizes might be discriminatory, but I have no idea if they have bought any in women's sizes.
I have not had the same problem in Norway. Many more women work in industry and engineering here, so comfortable safety shoes in women's sizes are readily available.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom