Summary of Hair Politics in the Workplace

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Hair Politics in the Workplace summary
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To avoid their hair becoming a talking point that distracts from their actual work, some Black women keep their hairstyles conservative or flow with the trends. Other women style their hair confidently and make it part of their personal brand. In this Black Enterprise panel discussion, Angel Beasley – merchandising director for specialty hair at Walmart – and Teneya Gholston – Crème of Nature senior marketing director – discuss the complexities and struggles surrounding Black hair at work.

About the Speakers

At the time of this panel, Angel Beasley was Walmart’s senior buyer for multicultural hair and tools, Lydia T. Blanco was a Black Enterprise editor and Teneya Gholston was Crème of Nature’s senior marketing director.

 

Summary

As natural styles grow more popular, Black women’s hair remains embroiled in workplace politics.

For many Black women, hairstyles play a significant role in terms of identity and self-representation at work. Teneya Gholston, senior marketing director at Crème of Nature, constantly experiments with her look and recently rediscovered braids as a way to save time and project a powerful image.

However, discrimination persists when managers imply that natural hair is unprofessional or when colleagues use derogatory terms for your hairstyle. Angel Beasley, who manages multicultural beauty for Walmart and wears her curls naturally, has worn her hair naturally for a decade. When she shifted from running her own businesses to a corporate career, others insisted her hairstyle would bar her from advancing. 

Natural styles like Afros were popular during the 1960s and 1970s. Becoming ...


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