Heeled-shoes in consulting firms: instrument of power or alienation for female consultants?[Research paper] by Lauriane Delhay


The author was part of the Alternative Management third year specialization program, in HEC and has just started studying medicine.

This research focuses on the conscious and unconscious use that female make their of their shoes through their professional interactions. The study is primarily sociological and based on various semi-structured interviews. It is firstly observed that female consultants almost automatically use heels when traveling to the customer. These shoes become the occasion of playing the theatralized role of female consultants; in giving self-confidence and in establishing women's position of power and expertise in the relation to their client. But wearing high heels, which also means discomfort and reduced mobility, is the result of different types of socialization and may reflect alienation of women in business, and more broadly in society.

Quote article  Lauriane Delhay, « Heeled-shoes in consulting firms: instrument of power or alienation for female consultants? », 01 october 2013, Alternative Management Observatory (AMO), [Research paper]

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