Why UPS Finally Lifted Its Ban On “Black Hairstyles” Ahead Of Holiday Hiring

CBx Vibe:Natty Dread” Bob Marley

By Justice Allen

  • UPS eliminated their outdated company bans on beards, long hair, afros, and braids
  • UPS is looking to hire 139,000 new seasonal workers

Shipping giant UPS (UPS +0.54%) has finally eliminated their outdated company bans on beards, long hair, afros, and braids. After coming under fire in 2018 with a nearly $5 million dollar fine from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, UPS has now acknowledged the inherent bias that was present in these restrictions. The company has made a move to create a more inclusive work environment for people of all backgrounds, as it looks to hire 100,000 new seasonal workers.

Why This Matters: As of 2016, UPS was made up of 23% black employees, presumably none of them had beards, braids or an afro. We can only imagine the micro-aggressions associated with Black hair at a company that was 60% white and had initially aimed to ban Black hairstyles altogether.

As of 2016, UPS was made up of 23% black employees, presumably none of them had beards, braids or an afro

Thankfully enough, a change is upon us. UPS CEO Carol Tome was open to feedback from employees, and it was clear many felt a change to the antiquated hair policies would “make them more likely to recommend UPS as an employer.” If the workforce is already 23% Black, we could see a new influx of Black UPS workers given the new changes.

We’d be remiss to not talk about UPS and their dire need to meet a growing demand. UPS handled 13.5% more packages between July and August of this year compared to last, and they’re looking to add about 139,000 new employees, most of which will be seasonal workers.

What’s Next: While UPS needs help meeting demand, they certainly aren’t hurting for cash. At the end of Q3, the company reported revenues of $21.24 billion, up from $18.3 billion in 2019. Let’s hope that in the coming months UPS leadership continues to listen to its employees and continues to make improvements in the way of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

CBx Vibe:Natty Dread” Bob Marley

CONTRIBUTOR

Justice Allen

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