Some welcome news...
"An anti-discrimination campaign focused on black people’s hair has won the backing of one of the UK’s biggest employers, Unilever, which has pledged to protect workers with afros and dreadlocks." Guardian
“We know it’s really important for people to be able to be themselves in the workplace,” said Richard Sharp, vice-president of human resources at Unilever UK & Ireland. “We believe the individuality of hair should be celebrated, which is why we are supporting and communicating the Halo Code to our people, and believe it is a vital step in the fight to ensure racial justice and racial equity for the next generation.”
As someone who has had first hand experience of discrimination, purely based on my choice of hair style...this is really welcome news and a positive step towards embracing textured hair in all of its glory.
So many of my clients are starting their curl journey or embracing their natural texture because they are tired of straightening or styling their hair to fit into someone else's idea of 'professionalism'.
Not that long ago, tattoo's would have been considered taboo if on display in a professional setting, or bright pink hair. There is a slow dawning that personal image and the freedom to express yourself is becoming more socially acceptable. However, the difference here is that the discrimination is based on a person's genetic make up... imagine being told you couldn't come to work if you were a natural red head! How many of you have been made to feel that your 'unruly' curls didn't look professional enough?
From shouts of " Alright Bob Marley" from across the street to the endless questions on hair hygiene, for over 20 years I faced daily instances of having to explain or defend or elaborate on my dreadlocks... not to mention the number of times I would walk into a professional environment and feel the sense of people questioning why I was there.
I was fortunate enough to create a work environment where my locks could be a distinguishing attribute, something I could celebrate..... todays news is a step in the right direction for the countless others who find themselves having to choose between their freedom to be themselves and their career or education.
Here's a link to the article sited above in the Guardian:
Unilever pledges to protect staff with afros and dreadlocks | Race | The Guardian