The battered Bank of England has ordered its female workers into heels and at the very least lipstick, igniting a firestorm of controversy. The institution, facing one of the worst economic slumps in history, took time out to hold a seminar teaching its women how to look "feminine" without looking like prostitutes, reports the Independent. The orders include toned-down jewelry and perfume, obligatory high heels (maximum two inches), shoes the same color as a skirt and makeup.
Experts say women workers have a legitimate court case for sex discrimination. "It is indicative of an institutionally sexist environment," said one. Observers were outraged not only by the message but that it was delivered by pricey image consultants when the institution can't afford to waste a penny. An analyst called it "appalling" that the Bank of England is "spending our money on these things." (Read more lipstick stories.)