The United Parcel Service is the latest company to relax restrictions on natural Black hairstyles.
The shipping giant announced its new policy on Tuesday (November 10), which allows employees to sport afros, cornrows, braids, and other hairstyles native to Black Americans. The changes would also eliminate gender-specific-rules and permit “businesslike” piercings, reports CBS MoneyWatch.
A spokesperson for the company told the news outlet that it’s easing the restrictions on workers’ appearance because it wants them to feel more comfortable when interacting with customers. The change would apply to all 528,000 of the company's global employees, including delivery drivers.
"Our updates allow for a wider array of hair styles, facial hair and other personal appearance preferences, and are another example of our people-led strategy to make UPS an even better place to work," the company said in a statement.
In addition to relaxing hairstyle restrictions, beards will also be permitted. Previously, individuals had to be clean shaven to work as delivery personnel.
The latest policy change is an attempt to be more inclusive and reduce the amount of instances of racial descrimination. A 2019 survey of 2,000 U.S. women ages 25-64, sponsored by Dove, found that Black women are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from work because of their hair. The survey also found that Black women polled were 80 percent more likely to change their natural hair to fit in and less likely to get a job interview if they wear their hair in a curly afro or braids.
Other American companies have also previously updated their policies to more inclusive hairstyles, including Hyatt and OneUnited Bank.
Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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