Beards in the Workplace
Times are certainly changing, I remember several years ago if you had a visible tattoo that was considered taboo, and you either had to keep it covered or go into a line of work where appearances did not matter. Now a days however tattoos are becoming more and more main stream, even in jobs that require face to face interaction, and there are even some career fields in which if you didn't have a tattoo someone would wonder what was wrong with you. Take for instance a commercial kitchen, where showing off that you are in the culinary industry has become so prevalent. I myself even have my chef knives tattooed on my arm. But what about beards? Will they remain a taboo in the world of business?
In 2013 The Guardian published an article stating that the world had hit "Peak Beard" and they were sure that the style forward individuals would start reaching for those razors and getting rid of the beards. Except the beard industry grew, and is expected to continually grow at a rate of 7% over the next 5 years. Looking at the numbers further roughly 43% of the male population in the United States shave on a daily basis, and that number drops even lower (35%) if you only sample millennials. So with this one would stand to reason that beards aren't just "becoming" the new main stream, they are the new main stream.
So why are they still frowned upon in the workplace setting? Why do some companies not even allow them at all. We believe that it all comes down to the same stigma that the tattoo faced. It's fairly new, and as of yet, no real precedence for it? several years ago you would see some business types sporting a close to the skin shave, maybe a little longer, but nothing close to what is being seen in this new age of facial hair. The only people to grow beards like that are guys in biker gangs, right?
We feel that just like the tattoo, the beard will eventually find it's place among those in the business world and in high positions. Much like the beards of the past have done. The stereotype just needs to be lifted and seen for exactly who the person is vs. what is on their face. Many great business and military minds of the past have sported a beard, we just have to remember they weren't in biker gangs.