Corporate America and Natural Hair
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22-08-2013, 09:45 AM
RE: Corporate America and Natural Hair
(20-08-2013 02:55 PM)Regular_Joe Wrote:  If you're already not accepting of "corporate america" I wouldn't suggest it as a career field to enter.

I am fortunate to fit the stereotype of my industry in a way. I'm a big (fat) guy with long hair, long beard and a lot of visible tattoos. When I walk into a room full of engineers and accountants, I stand out. When I start talking, I think it's a shock that I do know what the hell I'm saying, the processes involved, the cost, how to get it done and WHO to call if it can't be done.

I've spent a lot of years in ditches and bent over concrete slabs along with a few in college to get a couple Associate's Degrees to get where I am and have been for the last 2 years.

I am sure I have a cap on my advancement at some point because I won't wear a shirt and a tie. I'm okay with that because the trade off is, I don't have to wear a shirt and a tie.

You may flatten your hair, hide your tattoos, dress like everyone else, but if your heart's not in it, you'll crave the freedom to be who you want to be (unless you're make XXX,XXX dollars a year <-- this number is set by you).

I'm adding a picture of me to this post. Yes, I am the boss on my job. I also teach at a local Community College. No one gives me shit about it because I have the weight of reputation behind me. If I were an unknown, I think it would be a different situation.

Grow your hair. Wear an afro with a purple scarf in it. Smile at people. Tell them, "It's ok, I'm really, really good at what I do" Grow old and never regret missing a chance to be who you are for the want of $$$

[Image: 7-4-13_zps5808e61a.jpg]

I work in high-tech and guys that look like you are pretty much common - regular joes. Software development is still one of the loosest environments. Thank FSM.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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05-12-2013, 09:51 PM
RE: Corporate America and Natural Hair
Sigh this is my problem with you America, never mind what is healthy or affordable, or easy maintain as long as your racist standards of "white is right" upheld. I mean who cares it's a 12-year-old girl is physically or emotionally damaged? Who cares if the child gets chemical burns from straightening her hair? Orson burned by a piece of HoTMetaL from trying to straighten her hair out? Who cares about the emotional scarring of a little girl as long as her hair is under control? I know you don't America.


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09-12-2013, 07:49 AM
RE: Corporate America and Natural Hair
(19-08-2013 10:29 AM)BrokenQuill92 Wrote:  So I was having a discussion/argument with mother about what to with my hair when I go out on my own. I thought my best bet was to keep it in a simple natural style. Twisties, Locks, or braids. But she thinks once I leave college I'll have to straighten my hair again, apparently you can't be a lawyer with locks.
But she did make fair point, why are there political and social connotations attached to my hair, and the way people view black women with natural hair?

I'm both a lawyer and a corporate executive, so I think I have a relevant view point on this. And, my take it this - as long as your hair doesn't distract from your apperance (no crazy die jobs, etc.), I wouldn't worry too much about it. Generally, appearance really does matter when interviewing and getting your first job when you look "different" can be a problem. Once you are in and you prove your worth, it matters a lot less. But, getting, through the door can be an issue.

As long as you are just keeping it natural, it won't be for you. You are the trifecta of HR hiring. Blind, African-American, female - in one person you represent the three most historically discrminated against groups in America. HR departments will be crawling over each other to set up interviews for you. I hope you don't take that as being derisive, because I don't mean it that way. But, it's true. For generations, having a handicap, being black or being female was the quickest way to ensure unemployment or underemployment. Sure, there were exceptions - there always are - but for the vast majority of people who were in one of those catagories, the deck was completely stacked against them. Now the tables have turned and companies and law firms are all about diversity. The place I work at now publishes our annual diversity hiring numbers and wears them like a badge of honor.

The "what" of you will get you through the door. What you do once you get there is entirely up to you. You can still blow the interview. Companies and law firms don't hire people they don't believe are competent enough to do the job, but getting the interview is usually half the battle.

Good luck.

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When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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09-12-2013, 08:08 AM
RE: Corporate America and Natural Hair
I think you should be able to wear your hair however you wish, be pierced, wear whatever clothes you feel most productive in........... but ........... that simply is not the case. We are a society geared by advertising that goes back to the printed page. It's also been a *class* issue: better dressed, tasteful, etc has always represented those who've had more education available - so it's a bit psychological as well.

Do you want this at the front of your office?
[Image: bad-hair-day-27.jpg]

Person pictured is maybe completely able to run the front desk and do a great job. So what's the problem with the hair? It's distracting and doesn't *scream* professionalism.
(well not office professionalism anyway)

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09-12-2013, 08:36 AM
RE: Corporate America and Natural Hair
When you work for other people, they get a say in how you represent them. When someone pays for your time, they get a say in how that time is spent and even how you should appear on their premises. Company I previously worked for once fired a guy for getting a neck tattoo. He was hired to provide tech service for financial service customers, he was working on their premises, and they had rules against neck tattoos - and he knew that. Customers would no longer allow him on their premise, so we had no choice but to fire him.

He did not go quietly, either. He made a big stink and said that he was just as qualified to do his job after the tatoo as before it. HR pointed out that he wasn't, because one of the qualifications was the customer had to let you on their premise and they no longer would. So, out the door he went.

You have the right to dress and look however you want. However, others have the right to pass judgment on that - fairly or not failry - and exclude you from working for them.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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09-12-2013, 07:09 PM
RE: Corporate America and Natural Hair
(09-12-2013 07:49 AM)BnW Wrote:  As long as you are just keeping it natural, it won't be for you.

Of course, I could be wrong. To wit: BP exec fired for "ethnic" hairstyle and clothing.

The only thing I know about this case is what is written here and I find it dificult to believe a company as big as BP would be so stupid as to just come out and say the things that are alleged here. But, stranger things have happened.

I've never seen anything like this happen before in my 20 years in corporate America but I've also never seen anyone with what I would consider an "ethnic hairstyle" or who wears "ethnic clothing", whatever those are.

Maybe your mom is right and I'm wrong.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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