Despite more and more African-descended people embracing their natural hair, certain hairstyles are still seen as “unprofessional” by some companies, causing employees to change their hairstyle or risk being reprimanded by their employers.
According to a petition demanding Air France reviews its policies on hair, one flight attendant claims he was forced to hide his dreadlocks under a horrible toupee to please his bosses.
The blog Afro-Europe reports that Aboubakar Traoré, a Frenchman of Ivorian descent, was hired by Air France in 1999. Although he’s been wearing dreadlocks for a while, Traoré was recently called in by management and told that his hair was harming the company’s image and that he’d have to wear a wig or risk losing his job.
Ironically, black female flight attendants are allowed to wear braids and dreadlocks, but not their male counterparts.
Although companies have the right to institute policies on employee appearance, allowing workers to style their hair in neat, conservative styles—despite the texture—would not only make them happier, but would signal to customers that the company is progressive and diverse.
What do you think? Would you hide your hair under a wig to keep a job?