BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Dreads Need Not Apply

Posted by joyinhome on April 23, 2010

So Six Flags is in some trouble. They denied employment to a young woman because she has dreads. A supervisor said the company was adhering strictly to its corporate grooming policy that considers dreadlocks to be an extreme hairstyle. REALLY?!?

It is very interesting because the location of this site is Largo, MD which is predominantly African American. I point this out because many corporations- especially in the service industry- prefer that the staff reflect the diversity of its consumers. 

This is not a new fight: there have been too many instances where employees were fired and/or not hired because of hairstyles (afros, corn rows, etc.). The commonality of these cases has been the color of skin and that the definition of professional appearance had a narrow definition created by a homogenous group.

I have friends and colleagues (mostly African American males) in corporate America who have changed/altered their appearance so that it would not be an obstacle to advancement. Something I would never do, but I understand why they have done so.   

This is particularly bad timing since the park is just gearing up for the season. And ACLU is all over this. ..stay tuned.


One Response to “Dreads Need Not Apply”

  1. Bettie Cochran said

    I understand, I wear my hair in a curly style, which I am sure to most corporations appear to be too afrocentric, in other words too black. When I go on an interview, I make my hair straight. You see I already another corporate tabo, I am black and an older woman, wearing my hair in any style that alludes to my being a black woman is simply another reason not to hire me.

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