A recent incident in China has generated a lively debate about cultural stereotypes and discrimination at work. Two young men, aged 17 and 22, were denied employment at a factory because of their tattoos. The issue arose during a factory inspection while they were still in the early stages of their employment.
When the boss saw a significant tattoo on one of the men’s arms, she immediately stated that the factory doesn’t hire people with tattoos, no matter where they are. She believed that tattoos might negatively impact their future opportunities.
She explained her viewpoint saying, “Having tattoos gives the impression of being less respectable or rebellious.” She also mentioned that tattoos might have a negative impact on the company’s culture, even though they wouldn’t directly affect the individuals’ work performance.
She reportedly told the men, “As a company, we have a social responsibility to guide and educate young people. Despite the potential criticism, I will try to educate them if I can.” Unexpectedly, she offered the men jobs on the condition that they remove their tattoos. Additionally, she offered to pay for the procedure. Surprisingly, both men agreed to this arrangement.
In the history of China, tattoos have held different meanings and have sometimes been seen negatively. In the Qing Dynasty, tattoos were often linked to criminals and the lower social classes. But in modern times, tattoos have become popular among young people as a way to express themselves. However, wearing a tattoo to work might still cause a flutter.