Half of young Black women avoid wearing natural Afro locks at work due to unwelcome scrutiny.
Young Black people are changing their names at work and don’t feel comfortable wearing their natural hair, a new study has revealed.
Sommige 47 per cent of Black people said they altered their names to make it easier for colleagues to pronounce, according to the largest ever survey of Black Gen Z Talent in the UK conducted by recruitment marketing agency, TapIn. That compares to just 14 persent en 24 per cent of their white and Asian counterparts, onderskeidelik.
Figures from the ‘This is Black Gen Z’ report revealed that 45 per cent of young Black women avoided wearing their natural Afro locks at work due to the unwelcome scrutiny it often brings. In kontras met, 76 per cent of White Gen Z workers feel comfortable with their natural hair.
Oor 2,000 Black people, between the ages of 16-25, were interviewed for the report in a bid to understand what motivates Black people to stay in jobs and perform well at work.
“I always shorten my [Afrikaans] last name as well […] It makes the interview feel less awkward when they say my name […] It feels like, um, it feels like it’s a bit harder to then engage with them after your first introduction is you correcting them,” a Black non-binary employee, bejaardes 20-25 jaar oud, told researchers.
“So I shorten my name […] It’s a more Western name and I’ve done it all my life, like in school, to just make life easier […].
“It takes the focus off my name, and more on me I guess. So they don’t judge me, [by thinking] ‘oh her name’s really hard to say’, but more like, ‘oh she’s a good candidate’ or ‘she’s not the good candidate.”
The research, backed by FTse 100 firms including Tesco and GSK, looked at how Black Gen Zers find jobs, how they navigate the application process, what support they want from employers, and how authentic they feel they can be at work.
When deciding whether or not to wear their natural hair to interviews, those polled highlighted concerns about being perceived as unprofessional.
“I would very much love to wear my hair to work… cause who wouldn’t? [Dit is] the people that are around you just constantly wanting to, soos, fiddle with it or, um, jy weet, you are being told that your hair are [sic] distractions to other people and, soos, it’s my hair,” a female student told researchers.
The report comes after the Equality and Human Right Commission (EHRC) committed to reviewing its guidance on Afro hair discrimination in workplaces and schools last week.
Once in the workplace, enigste 31 per cent of Black Gen Z workers said they felt able to be their authentic selves, in vergelyking met 66 per cent of their white peers. That meant the majority of those surveyed felt the need to change the way they look to “fit in” with colleagues.
Unable to be their authentic selves at work, workers can be left feeling stressed, anxious and demotivated, which has a negative impact on their mental health and productivity, die verslag gevind.
Milimo Banji, CEO of TapIn, gesê: “Our report is a wake-up call for employers across the country. We found that Black Gen Z can really thrive when supported to be their authentic selves in the workplace. But there are still too many barriers and hoops for them to jump through.
“Something as simple as having to change your name that colleagues keep getting wrong can have profound impacts on Black employees. They shouldn’t have to think twice about wearing their natural hair to work.
“It’s been said that people find it easier to pronounce names of fictional characters on Game of Thrones like Daenerys Targaryen than colleagues with non-anglicised names. That needs to change.”
The report’s recommendations for improvement include creating an “inclusive” culture, which encourages staff to respect diverse cultures, provide pastoral support for employees and tackling discrimination “transparently and effectively”.