*Screw the rules of discrimination. And to hell with the rules of accountability. One employer is ignoring both at once by rescinding a job offer he made to a recent university graduate using her hairstyle as the reason why she can’t work at the company; and blaming that reason on what “clients” want or, in this case, what they don’t want.
Lara Odoffin, a Nigerian living abroad, must have been excited to be offered a position just out of college. But the Bournemouth University graduate got a wake-up call from her potential employer who contacted her via email and said she could not work for them unless she was willing to change her braided hairstyle.
Odoffin, a resident of the United Kingdom, could have easily let her anger at the situation overshadow things. But she chose to take the high road; and although she posted the note signed by “Sam,” the employer or a company rep, she refused to reveal the name of the company.
Odoffin’s post on Facebook received more than 4,000 views and she was so surprised by the support that she uploaded another post thanking her supporters and explaining that her choice to not reveal the employer is because, although she is very angry she doesn’t want to “destroy someone’s livelihood and business.”
I tell you what, actions say a lot about a person’s true character. And any employer would be hard-pressed to deny this woman’s class and decency.
If character speaks loudly, and it does, Lara Odoffin’s is screaming right now.
Prejudice aside, there is no room in BUSINESS for such ignorance. And this employer had best tippy-toe around the fact that this young woman might wake up one day with another justification as to why she should ‘out’ this company for its discriminatory practices. But for now, they had better hope her classy gesture remains intact.
And before you go confusing Odoffin’s kindness for weakness.
In her Facebook post sharing her situation, Odoffin may not have revealed the employer, but she did reveal her feelings about their discriminatory practices:
“So after being accepted for a position within this company, they have TAKEN BACK the offer of a position on the grounds that if I do not take my braids out. Naturally I simply cannot work for the company. This type of discrimination should not still be happening in this day and age and any establishment still condoning such practices deserve to be shamed and criticised. Being a black woman means that to have a long term hairstyle that stays neat is always going to be a problem. Having braids that last for 2-4 months and can be packed neatly and styled to however a workplace requires is the solution to this problem. No workplace has any right to forbid you from this. This is discrimination and I am disgusted that I had to be subject to such behaviour in this 21st century. Please share. It is not okay.”
Like I said, this employer had better hope Odoffin maintains her kindness, and does not reveal the company name. In this day and age, it only takes a post on social media to make or break a business.
And this is a ‘trump card’ that Ms. Odoffin can decide to play at any time because it has no expiration date.