Men with cornrows: Would you hire them?

Depending on your background, socialization, religion or just your circle of friends, some things you will be into and others you will not. Like wearing white after Labour Day and if you need a belt to wear in your pants though it is not budging from your waistline.

Some things are okay with you and are not an issue while others will make you gasp and say it is a ‘no’ for me love.

One such maybe men with cane row. Whether you call it ‘corn row’, ‘cane row’ or ‘braids’ it is males who grow their hair and then have it combed in a style which previously only females wore.

It is trendy and dancehall artists, rappers, athletes etc embrace it as it is seen as cool. Indeed, it has become the cultural expression of male rebellion hence more and more young men grow their hair simply because at one point society told them that low cut hair and a shaven face were the main hallmarks of a well-groomed young man.

Now rappers, athletes and artists are members of the sports and entertainment fraternity hence a suit and tie is not a part of their daily gear unless they have award events to attend. They can sport earrings, tattoos and cornrow hairstyle and be idolised by the young masses as being ‘fresh to death’ and super cool.

But what about the average young man? What about his career path? For the most part, Jamaica is not very liberal-minded in the corporate world.

There is still a particular look and feel that human resources departments and big bosses go for, and men with cornrow is not typically one of them.

It may not be a barrier to employment if you are contracted to pack and move boxes, work on a truck as a sideman or certain everyday blue-collar jobs but the higher up you go and the more zeros affixed to your pay stub, the glass ceiling may just come down on your neck

In other words, having certain hairstyles as a man may not get you to the top of the corporate ladder. Some offices do not even want to see a man with an earring but the earring can always be removed until he is off the clock and enjoying his own personal time.

What these males face is discriminatory but…companies do have the right to make their own employment policies.

It is not so easy with a hairstyle. It was not even 20 years ago when women were not allowed to have in braids or locks when being recruited for the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

It was also a big no-no in many banks and financial institutions as the individual was not considered to be well-groomed and worse, was viewed as the style of persons from a lower class. Yup, discrimination and classism are rampant in this land with its predominantly Negroid population.

In this same vein, some will argue that what these males face is discriminatory but then the other side of the coin is that companies do have the right to make their own employment policies.

All of this should be considered before a young man decides to sit in a barber chair.