Another day another ‘discriminatory’ act based on hair. We see these headlines all the time…. so and so was asked to leave because her hair was too, poofy, braided, curly or just plain ‘out’.
Lara Odoffin is the latest woman to experience this when the Bournemouth University graduate was offered a job only to have the offer snatched off the table if she did not remove her braids.
On Facebook Odoffin wrote the following:
So after being accepted for a position within this company, they have TAKEN BACK the offer of a position on the grounds that if I do not take my braids out.
Naturally I simply cannot work for the company. This type of discrimination should not still be happening in this day and age and any establishment still condoning such practices deserve to be shamed and criticised.
Being a black woman means that to have a long term hairstyle that stays neat is always going to be a problem.
Having braids that last for 2-4 months and can be packed neatly and styled to however a workplace requires is the solution to this problem. No workplace has any right to forbid you from this.
This is discrimination and I am disgusted that I had to be subject to such behavior in this 21st century. Please share. It is not okay.
We know there will be the opinion that braided hair in comparison to natural hair is hardly discriminatory because having braids can be considered a ‘style’ or an ‘aesthetic’ rather than something that naturally grows out of your head.
The truth is this is not discrimination in the legal sense of the word but it is very unfair. At the end of the day, why would a manager or set of managers eliminate the value of what a person can bring to their organisation based on how they wear their hair?
It seems to me that if you are willing to eliminate a candidate based on something so simple that chances are the company’s decision making over all is probably not that great.
On the other hand there are those that will say, all she should do it take the braids out, which would eliminate the problem all together.
At the end of the day I am all for someone standing their ground if they can afford and I cant help but think first it will be braids, and then it will be something else!
Braids do not determine someones worth and it is clear to me that the company who she has refused to name does not value her beyond her hair style.
Lara has since posted a thank you note on Facebook based on the support she has received over this issue:
I thought i’d post a status to save time answering questions.
Firstly I’d like to say thank you to everyone for the support. What I intended to be a vent of my feelings towards the company and maybe be shared a couple of times has exploded and touched/angered a lot of people in way I genuinely could never have imagined.
I am not currently naming the company (as much as i’d like to right now out of indignation and anger) because I do not intend to destroy someones livelihood and business, and I don’t really want a lawsuit on my hands either… however it does not deter from the fact now that I have chanced upon an opportunity to correct blatant ignorance and discrimination, and it is a fact that I certainly will keep going until it is put to rest. If it does result in me having no choice but to completely expose the company, I have no problem in doing so.
This policy needs to be eradicated completely, there is no room for such rules in this day and age- across any sector. More than anything it just made me upset. I had the right experience, they were happy to have me… it was just about my hair. Kind of silly really. I will be speaking to a lawyer about this tomorrow and will be contacting the company. As I have now learnt social media is a very powerful thing and I would not want to misuse it!
Again, thank you very much for the surprising but amazing level of support, I will keep you posted.
Weigh in, should Lara just take out the braids and go for the job? Or should she continue to stand her ground?