This story was recently brought to my attention and I wanted to share it with you guys. Ashley Davis, a woman recently hired at Tower Loan was told that if she did not cut her dread locks off, she would be fired from the company. Tower Loan is a finance company that has offices located in Mississippi, Missouri, Alabama, and Louisiana. They implemented a strict policy on acceptable dress two months after hiring Ms. Davis and released a statement saying that professional appearance is necessary for the success of the company.
Ms. Davis is the only employee at the office with Dreads and if her hair was an issue, it should have been mentioned prior to hiring her, not months after her working there. Truthfully, I think it’s disappointing that this kind of discrimination is still happening. To me, looking professional should mean wearing particular clothing and behaving in a respectable manner. Specifying hair texture can very easily exclude people of color in a work place. Tower Loan is claiming that they are upholding professionalism, but I disagree and would argue that they are upholding racism. The only other option would be for her to essentially shave her head which I think is a ridiculous request to make of any employee regardless of race or gender.
What do you guys think? Where should we draw the line with the aesthetic of professionalism?