Tattoos in Corporate America

Good Morning Ladies & Gents! Long time no talk haha. I hope you enjoyed your Friday the 13th, I know I did. Two blown tires, a severed brake system, cold air intake burned, and one speed module later haha I can say that everything is finally up and running. Clearly, my good luck ran high during that weekend, but not to worry everything is good now. Now, back to the task at hand. Today I wanted to bring some insight on something that many of you will have an issue with. The issue at hand is tattoos in Corporate America, specifically the bank, hospitals, NFL, higher education…etc.

You might be saying, “E, its about to be 2020, that stuff is no longer an issue!”

Tattoos in Corporate America

Well that’s were you are wrong my friends. This is something I have had to battle with most of my personal and professional career. Now, don’t get me wrong being a Marine with full sleeves certainly enhanced my look and credibility, as a Marine! Unfortunately, outside the Marine Corps, having full sleeves has tripled my work, stunted my integrity, and made life much harder. Not that I care, other people’s opinion are inconsequential and hold no weight in the grand scheme of things. However, I know there are fellow Black Sheep’s out there who are experiencing bouts of frustration. Trust me when I say, this will never go away UNTIL your expertise supersedes what you look like. This will require you to continuously work and fight for that success.

Ask yourself are tattoos worth the headache?

Tattoos in Corporate America

If you ask me, yes, they are a direct reflection of me and my values. If no, well then you have nothing to worry about. If you answered yes, you will get backlash. You will be dealing with other people’s biases whether they know it or not. Believe me, it didn’t matter, whether I told others such as my bosses, coworkers, or the public, that I was top in my class in getting my MBA from an Ivy League School or that I earned my bachelors in two years, all while working nights as a bouncer at a club. It didn’t matter to them, that I spent many years as a counselor at a nonprofit or spent years serving my country. It didn’t matter to them and it sure as hell didn’t matter to me hahaha. They’re faces as I outworked and outsmarted their top employees was reward enough.

But don’t just take it from me, after doing research from Harvard Business Review and, its apparent that there are some issues regarding tattoos in Corporate America occurring to this day.

Now, I will say according to both sources, they both agreed upon that up to a certain level in your professional career, roughly about $40k for men and $30k for women, there is not many issues with one or two tattoos. However, we are not all here to stay within that given pay scale. It is quite laughable to hear those numbers to be honest, but not to worry a Black Sheep does not concern themselves with rules set upon by others. I will say that their research for banks or government agencies had an 8% to 13% acceptance rate of tattoos which does not bode well.

Regrettably, one of the leading causes of these statistics is due to higher leadership being less tolerant of tattoos. In a nutshell, the older the individuals you are dealing with or the more educated they are then the more biases, intolerances, and prejudices you will face. The common theme here is that tattoos are for the less educated or for those with character flaws. Evidently, 55% of PhD respondents find tattoos unacceptable even with 3% of the population of PhD’s having tattoos.

As stated before, this is a hurdle you will face, but…

Tattoos in Corporate America

It is one that you can easily overcome, with knowledge and a hard work ethic. Unfortunately, the friend hurdle is smaller compared to tattoos in Corporate America. The article itself asked applicants and employees to cover up in professional settings which is an indicator that there is no place in these fields for acceptance. Now, we can all sit here and continue to ask why, but this is a deeply embedded issue that will not easily change.

Be like the $1 bill, not as highly valued on the surface, overlooked at times, but if you look, our first president, George Washington is front and center. We all know without him, the US would not be what it is today.

We must all remember and never forget that we all have value to offer. As Black Sheep, it is our mission to circumvent the invaluable and work against what is easy. For now, please understand, that are three routes you can take.

  1. Prove your value. As I said earlier, prove to the masses that you are a force not to be taken lightly. Prove that tattoos are not a direct indicator to experience, knowledge, and worth.
  2. Cover up. As the saying goes, “short term loss, long term gain.” Don’t give morons fuel to make your life harder than it must be and slowly remove the barrier other set upon you.
  3. Leave to find a job or career that is more accepting. Unfortunately, we live in a country that hires and promotes based on everything else, but merit.

In comparison to other fields, tattoos in Corporate America is still widely unaccepted.

Although, we can all attest to the many emails regarding diversity and inclusion, this subject is merely one that is off limits to the club. What we must understand about diversity and inclusion is that it was made only for the factor of race. Diversity and inclusion never sent an invite to cultures other than its own and because of that, tattoos are not likely tolerated. Believe me when I say this is unfair, but since when is life fair. I ask you to be the adaptable Black Sheep I know you can be and show them they are wrong!

If you have anything further to add, please feel free to comment down below or email us. If you would like to support the Black Sheep movement, feel free to visit our shop or subscribe to our mailing list.




Tattoos and Jobs: How Tattoos/piercings Can Limit Your Career.

A Tattoo Won’t Hurt Your Job Prospects. Alison Beard –

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