Expert Article | Uniform Policies: Clothes, Tattoos & More

Many of us remember working in a job with a written down uniform policy – many of us at that first job we ever had – that didn’t allow for tattoos, for piercings, or for certain kinds of shoes or shirts. You might have noticed that that has been changing – ever wondered why?

Beyond changing expectations in how people appear – as one HR specialist once said to me: “customers aren’t scared of tattoos anymore, they are scared of poor customer service” – there has been a greater understanding in how people’s appearances mean more than just how people look at them, it also talks about how the person thinks of themselves.

The LGBT2SQ+ community is a big part of this. We present ourselves in ways that are often meant to show that we are part of the community. From punk appearances – harkening back to the days where punk was one of the most accepting communities – to rainbows everywhere, our appearances are meant to make us feel safe and thoroughly “us”.

Having policies that allow your colleagues to feel comfortable in their own skin is important – you’ll find everyone happier. It can also prevent having to change your policies in the face of new laws and employment tribunals – be proactive. Ask your colleagues if they feel comfortably “them” at work; you might just be surprised at what they tell you.

Brett Collins
Tri-Cities Pride Society

Expert Articles are articles provided by our members to educate our members on different topics. They are not an avenue for sales, instead, they are used as a platform to help position the company as an expert in its field. The content in this post does not necessarily reflect the views of the Tri-Cities Chamber and does not imply endorsement.