world afro day

Afro Hair Still Considered Unprofessional By Employers

On World Afro Day, a study reveals that business decision-makers think several Afrocentric hairstyles are completely inappropriate for the workplace.  This shocking fact comes from a survey of 1000 HR decision-makers and other key decision-makers in the workplace, including those who might have hiring and line management responsibilities.

The study found European styles were considered more appropriate in all circumstances, whereas there was a lower acceptance rate where Afro-hair is more visible and styled.  Their data showed the following acceptance rates:

  • 65% think that the male Afro  is acceptable for the workplace
  • 62% believe female braids are acceptable for the workplace
  • 65% say locs are acceptable for the workplace
  • 64% say cornrows are acceptable for the workplace

By comparison, straight hair was acceptable for 85% of respondents.

Founder and CEO of World Afro Day Michelle De Leon says “When workplaces undermine an employee’s right to show up as their true self, they create psychological conflict zones and
can actually diminish self-esteem, identity and belonging. Work is supposed to be good for you, not suppress you.”

She also said: “Africans should be able to look African in the workplace like Europeans can look European and Asians can look Asian. Ending hair discrimination is decades overdue, I hope companies and politicians will now do the right thing and act on the research.”

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