Man with shaved head and facial hair in grey business suit, pondering with head rested on his hand and sleeve tattoo showing.

Now that body piercings and tattoos have become more mainstream, it is no wonder that we see more tattooed skins in the workplace. Yes, it is true that the situation has improved a lot from the days when getting inked was synonymous to being jobless. Who wouldn’t remember those dark days? There used to be a time when employers or human resources would reject you even without a glance at your resumes just because they asked if you’re inked and you answered “YES.”


We only say improved because discrimination against tattooed professionals is not completely over yet. Now what employers are most concerned about are tattoos that are exposed. They say that visible body art is sometimes at odds with the company’s branding. They think employing people with visible tattoos would be conveying the wrong message to clients, especially since body art has long been negatively stereotyped.


There are still assumptions that tattooed professionals are less intelligent, immoral, and sometimes rebellious. The sad truth is that some studies reported that 60% of human resources personnels stated that visible ink would negatively affect an applicant’s change of getting hired.


Sadly, too, we have no overt protection for employees with tattoos. Employers, though, should be careful when they express these inflexible prohibitions because obviously, this is more than just a dress code concern.


While we respect employers who want to preserve pristine images for their companies, it would be a lot better, if there are reasonable accommodations for professionals with visible tattoos. There are some who allow them to join the company upon agreement that they will cover their tattooed skin while at work. This is a big step and undeniably a big help for tattooed pros.


Some employers are also educated about body art’s significance. There are religious and ethnic symbols that are the pride and honour of their wearers. It is a very uneducated and unfair criticism to think that everyone who has tattoos had either been in jail or at the very least, incompetent.


The irony is this. There are still people who believe that men and women with tattoo cannot do any good, and that they are irresponsible and jobless. They are the same people who refuse to give the latter a chance to prove how well they can perform any task at work.


You cannot measure one’s competency and wit by the way they look. Tattoos do not affect people’s brains and behaviours. Not everyone with a tattoo is incompetent and irresponsible just as not everyone with unmarred skin will be good at their jobs.