Tattoos in the Workplace

Tattoos in the Workplace

Are Tattoos Losing Their Taboo In the Workplace?
A Look at Millennial’s Influence on Change
Liz Murphy
Tacoma Community College

Author Note
This paper was prepared for English 101, Section A, taught by Mrs. Hays

Tattoos, a visible body adornment of self-expression. Egyptians were the first to use Tattooing in 2000 BCE, to decorate noble women and their entourage (Pitts-Taylor, 2008). Throughout history, society’s views on this beautiful art form have gone many different ways. Today, there are more people, younger and younger, using tattooing and body piercing to identify themselves, to stick out from the crowd or to tell a story. But, as there are more and more of these body adorned Millennials1 graduating from college and going into the workforce, are these forms of body modifications becoming more acceptable in the workplace or are they hindering the hiring of well-educated young adults from obtaining employment? This paper will discuss how today’s business world views tattoos and the effect they have on the hiring process.

It wasn’t that long ago when having a tattoo meant that you had just been released from prison, been out to sea or were from the wrong side of the tracks, but not anymore. According to PEW research center, roughly 40 percent of millennials have tattoos (Taylor, 2010). This is a dramatic increase from just thirty years ago when only 1 in a 100 people had tattoos (Icon, n.d). Although tattoos are becoming more popular some business still see visible tattoos as unprofessional. Hiring managers still advise inked job-seekers to cover up their tattoos at least for the first impression. Some industries, such as film, marketing, performing and visual arts, are more lenient. Businesses such as banks and law firms which are more conservative are likely to be stricter.
Boeing policy for instance, is tattoos that are visible and non-offensive2 are permitted....

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