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- UPS passed a new company policy that would allow all of their employees to wear natural and protective hairstyles.
- They also got rid of any gender-specific appearance policies.
Some good news for ya today: UPS employees are now allowed to rock their natural hairstyles at work. The company passed a new policy that officially allows “Afros, braids, curls, coils, locs, and knots,” says The Wall Street Journal. They also got rid of their facial-hair ban—so employees don’t have to stress about keeping their beards short—and all of their gender-specific appearance policies (bless).
“These changes reflect our values and desire to have all UPS employees feel comfortable, genuine and authentic while providing service to our customers and interacting with the general public,” said UPS in a statement to the company. They also added that they want the new changes to “celebrate diversity rather than corporate restrictions.”
If you don’t get why this is so major, let me spell it out for you. All 500,000 UPS employees can now go to work as authentically themselves, without worrying about getting fired, or called “unprofessional” for the way they look. It’s a wayyy overdue policy change, and goes hand in hand with The Crown Act, a bill that would put an end to race-based hair discrimination. So far, The Crown Act has passed in seven states: California, Colorado, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington. And in September, the US House of Representatives voted yes on the bill.
“It’s huge that UPS is updating its policies to be more inclusive of its Black community!” said Esi Eggleston Bracey, EVP and COO of Beauty and Personal Care at Unilever North America, in an email to Cosmo. “The Dove CROWN Research study found that 80 percent of Black women reported having to change our hair to fit in to work place norms. So, we’re excited to see this change, and hope to see many more companies review and update their policies to include and encourage their Black employees to wear their hair, their way without fear of consequence. We cannot find it acceptable for any of us to change our natural identity to gain employment or access to school.”
Matthew A. Cherry, who wrote and directed “Hair Love”, a short film that celebrates Black hair also showed his support for these new policies in a tweet.
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Here are some actionable steps you can take to help push The Crown Act forward: sign the official petition, write to your state senators, or hit up their phone line to voice your support in ending this form of discrimination on a federal level.
Let’s hope that this new rule change for UPS inspires other companies to rethink their own policies.
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