Tattoos in the Workplace

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Date Submitted: 05/16/2010 07:08 PM

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Tattoos in the Workplace

We live in a world of diversity. All around us, we see different cultures and sub-cultures surfacing within our cities. Tattoos are one of those sub-cultures growing into a norm of everyday life, whether we like it or not. I remember when I was growing up in the eighties and thinking even then that tattoos were for thugs, bikers and, sailors. I guess that until one is exposed to them on a personal level as I was, my husband who was my boyfriend at the time had a couple, then one may not be as acceptable of them. In the last 15 years, tattoos have gained popularity and are now more prevalent in our workplaces. Employers are beginning to see that they will have to make some changes to their old ideas on how they want to present their company or miss out on many of the qualified applicants that have tattoos. As we head into the future, we can likely expect to see many changes in the workplace regarding tattoos. But today, even though employers are adapting to tattoos, tattoos are still considered a negative tattoo in the workplace.

Although the number of professional employees with tattoos is rising, tattoos are still getting a bad rap in the workplace. Take hospitality and corporate companies for example. Those businesses have a reputation to uphold and need to portray a professional image to their clients and customers. Another reason for why tattoos have not shed their negative stigma is that many of the managers and supervisors are Baby Boomers who still see tattoos as something that someone who is untrustworthy or a troublemaker might have. With those Baby Boomers as managers and supervisors, there are also the customers and clients who are Baby Boomers who see tattoos in the same way. People, especially the older generation, seem to put too much emphasis on first impressions, but many businesses seem to be aware of that so they take precautions and make their employees cover up so they do not lose the business. However, with the...