Did you know …
· A Black woman is 80% more likely to change her natural hair to meet social norms or expectations at work
· Black women are 50% more likely to be sent home or know of a black woman sent home from the workplace because of her hair
In the US, the law does not currently afford protection for race-based hair discrimination, even if the hairstyle is inherent to racial identity. This is NOT OK. That’s why we co-founded the CROWN Coalition (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) in partnership with the National Urban League, Color Of Change, and Western Center on Law and Poverty. Our mission is to advance efforts to end hair discrimination and to create a more equitable and inclusive beauty experience for black women and girls.
How the CROWN Coalition will enact change
While there is still a lot of work to do, there is progress. The CROWN Coalition sponsored The CROWN Act (SB 188) in California, Introduced by Senator Holly J. Mitchell. The CROWN Act has now been signed into law, making California the first state to make hair discrimination illegal. The bill has recently passed both the New York Senate and the Assembly and has also been introduced in the state of New Jersey.
Once passed, these bills ensure that traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture and hairstyle, are protected from discrimination in the workplace and in K-12 public and charter schools. These bills are only the beginning, as the CROWN Coalition is galvanizing support for legislation to end hair discrimination nationwide.
Hair Bias Hurts Us All
The societal norms and corporate grooming policies that unfairly impact Black women create distractions that impact our whole society. We know diversity has a positive impact on a company’s bottom line. Corporations refusing to hire, firing, or refusing to promote a Black woman because of her Protective Hairstyle not only destabilizes individual households but impacts the broader economy as the workforce boasts more working women than ever.
In 2019 Black women still remain pressured to conform to Eurocentric standards of appearance. Black women report receiving formal grooming policies at a rate significantly higher than White women. Natural hairstyles inherent to Black identity such as locks, braids, bantu knots, etc. are ranked the lowest for ‘job readiness.’
We can see a world where we are all valued for who we are, a world where we express our individuality without any concern. No woman should ever be “judged” or held back by her appearance.
Join us in creating real change that will impact the confidence that Black women and girls feel in expressing themselves. Follow @Dove on Twitter and #TheCROWNAct to see the status of The CROWN Act. We encourage you to write to your legislators to encourage them to introduce and pass anti-hair discrimination legislation in your state. Below is an easy to use letter template for you to download.