Etiquette as a Short Girl

I know this is a weird question but I have no idea where else to ask this question. I'm 5'1 and I am an incoming IB Summer Analyst. Is there an expectation to wear heels? Would I look dumb walking around with 3 inch heels? Would heels too high look funny and inappropriate for the office? Some of the people in Finance tend to be taller (love all the college athletes) and I don't want to feel like a child nor would I like to be treated like one. Does anyone have recs for work appropriate womens shoes that add some height?

Comments (31)

May 15, 2022 - 11:16pm
marketMergerMaddie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'd say in your case heels would probably be a pretty good option! I personally don't wear heels, and definitely don't think they're necessary, but one of my close friends from college literally wears heels at all times including at the office since she is 5' 2". I'd say 3" pumps would totally be office appropriate. Happy to review anything specific as well or answer any other fashion-related questions

  • Associate 2 in PE - Growth
May 16, 2022 - 12:04am

We had an MD who was 5'0 and feared by everyone. People don't give af about your height-no one will think you are a child. Younger people at the full time level sometimes can get mistaken as interns, but honestly that doesn't really matter because it's very obvious when someone has been in IB for a year based on what they know and how they speak. Especially as an intern I wouldn't worry about it. 

  • Associate 2 in PE - Growth
May 16, 2022 - 12:15am

For men and women height just doesn't matter in business, it's whether you can do the role. I've had absolute clown analysts who were taller than shit and excel wizards who looked like goblins.

My big advice for you as a shorter girl is to watch yourself at happy hours-2 drinks for you is equivalent to many men having 5/6. If you have 3, you might look really sloppy or be significantly more drunk than everyone else which people will notice. Being over served as an intern is a really bad look.

Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in PE - Growth
May 19, 2022 - 8:54am

Sigh, another thread of short guys complaining.

Empirically, there is a much higher number of tall individuals in executive positions, however, if you actually research this what matters more isn't present day height, but height during adolescence. In other words, it isn't a bias on your actions or behavior as much as short people (men) have a confidence problem. Further, short men are viewed as more likeable by other men empirically.

If you are going to use empirically actually read research on it rather than one or two stats on outcomes of executive position and income. The stat for short men and income was literally used in my college statistics class as an example of confounding and bad statistics. It's like the women make 87 cents for every male dollar stat-women aren't getting paid that differently for the same work, broadly the wage gap is due to them choosing lower paying jobs (teacher, nurse, etc). Further, I'm pretty short and it's never been an obstacle professionally or even addressed. The amount of hedge fund short guys is off the chart.

Dating however, whole different story. You totally get trashed there, but the good news is it resolves the older you get. 1) once you find someone, it doesn't matter ever again. 2) Eventually women (and men) care more about income, personality, potential for fatherhood/motherhood and height matters significantly less. Again, there are stats out there like women view a man who is 5'5 the same as a 6'0 guy if he makes 200k extra or something. Fortunately, you are in a position to do that. So basically as a guy you can actually make the short thing in dating neutralized as time goes on. You just need to fix your confidence problem. Honestly though, almost all men I know struggled with dating in their early twenties post college, so I don't think it's a short guy problem it's just how dating works as a guy who is less established and confident.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
May 18, 2022 - 12:31pm

Same, my MD is around 5'0 as well and she is a total lady boss. Super nice, great at her job, etc. Everyone loves and respects her. She rarely wears heels as an fyi 

May 16, 2022 - 8:30pm
mooyi, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Wouldn't worry about it. I think the only time I have noticed anyone's height is when there was a guy tall enough to be a basketball player, but even then, it was just a feature of him, no different than someone's hair or eye color. I don't think anyone will think anything of it either way (i.e., whether you wear heels or not). Feel free to wear heels, just don't wear ones that are so uncomfortable you get blisters or trip and hurt yourself.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
May 16, 2022 - 11:44pm

As someone 6 foot 3, everyone under 5 8 is short to me.

5 foot 1, 5 foot 7 etc....all the same to me(just short).

No one cares or notices if you are the shortest of the short (99% of girls are short).   All the same.

May 17, 2022 - 2:57am
Redhottie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

5'7" and up is tall for a woman. 

  • 1
May 17, 2022 - 1:44pm
anothergodammasian, what's your opinion? Comment below:

really? i'm almost 6'3 and for some reason everyone about 5'8 feels like same height, it's obviously because my eyes are where their head is or i've just gotten too fat.

May 17, 2022 - 9:55pm
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you do decide to wear heels, just make sure it's something that you're accustomed to and can walk properly in them. If you look unsure in them then it might work against you a bit. Good luck!

  • 2
May 18, 2022 - 3:45pm
AstoundedMonkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

become a CEO please. In spite of DiveFRSitY initiatives, 0 % of C-suite executives at fabled F500 companies in the US are <5"3' for F, or under 5"11 for males--these are average heights for American adults from 2022.

If you want real diversity, give people greif about the sub-5"3' nakba and we sub-5-11's may start to get diversity quotas for us, too. but it HAS to start with asian or caucasian women, or trans folkx, as not once has diversity programming fought for short, white or asian MALE suffrage until white ladies or Asian women were affected

The feminist take:

Yes you may "love all the college athletes" because they are svelte and tall (despite you being almost legally a dwarf). BUT DO YOURSELF AND THE REST OF THE LADIES IN FINANCE A SOLID AND DO NOT EVER WEAR HEELS. HEELS are TERRIBLE for your feet and legs. Please do not capitulate to sexist body shaming preferences. If you wear heels, you set your feet, legs and hips become damaged over time.
--source, physiologist groyper

May 18, 2022 - 4:05pm
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you're having a stroke you should dial 911

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Jun 8, 2022 - 3:53am
KHALEESI, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Jun 9, 2022 - 5:12am
BigKahunaBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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