Woman ‘shocked’ by boss’ reaction to showing off tattoos at work

    Tattoo fanatics might no longer have to cover up to stand out in the workplace — or at least a now-viral LinkedIn post proved.

    Jessica Leonard proudly showed off her inked-up arms with a sleeveless blouse in a new photo for her private equity firm after getting the green light from her manager.

    “I had grown accustomed to wearing long sleeves in the heat of summer, to tugging on my suit coat sleeves in every meeting, to pulling my hair around my ear so no one would get a glimpse of the small tattoo behind my ear,” the Ohio-based professional wrote in the post. “Very often, I simply felt that I needed to be careful about when I was being too freely me.”

    In the post, 36-year-old Leonard explained how she was met with criticism about her tattoos being unprofessional in her past.

    ” ‘Oh, wow! I mean, I don’t have any tattoos. Given my role within the Firm, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to have any . . . to stand in front of our people with tattoos (laughs) . . . no one would take me seriously,’ ” she wrote as an example of judgment she regularly received in her industry.

    But when she became a partner at Evolution Capital Partners, she dared to let her identity shine.

    She took two portraits — one covering her ink and another sans jacket — and asked her boss if she could show off her tattoos on LinkedIn — but keep the covered-up photos for the company site.

    His response? “Let’s roll with the tattoos in both! Loud and proud!”

    She was “shocked” at his response, but relieved she worked for a team who believed she was the same person with or without her tattoos.

    “It is the content of one’s character that is most important to us,” founder of Evolution Capital Partners Jeffrey Kadlic told “Good Morning America.” “Authenticity and transparency are cornerstones of the culture we are working to create. We see Jess for who she is and embrace all of her because she shares our core values and is a tremendous talent. At the end of the day, that is all that really matters.”

    Since she originally posted on LinkedIn two months ago, her statement has garnered more than 31,000 reactions and 2,500 comments.

    Despite studies indicating that workplaces are largely becoming more casual, many responses were less supportive.

    “Tattoos are visual noise and distracting in a work environment,” wrote one commenter named James DeYoung. “The same goes for workers with piercings where I’m forced to look at them while talking/interacting with them. It is a form of passive aggression toward a person who chooses to not be tattooed/pierced.”

    “Sure you can let your freak fly, but don’t be surprised if some percentage of the business world casts some doubt about your seriousness for the position,” said another disgruntled user named John Parchman, who said her jacketed photo was “more professional.” “Do you need a couple of weeks off for Burning Man? Will you pass a random drug test?”

    But others found solace in Leonard’s positive message, hoping it signals to companies that tattoos are not a symbol of rebellion, but instead are a form of self-expression.

    “Thank you for being loud and proud with who you are!” commented Joelle Lapointe. “I see a resilient and strong woman, someone who has dreams and who believes in creativity and freedom of expression. If anyone sees negativity in showing off your art, they need to move out of the Stone Age and join the rest of us here in the present time.”

    The overwhelming positivity Leonard received from her heartfelt post was solace enough, telling “Good Morning America” that she wants to inspire those who might feel ostracized because of their ink.

    “I hope this will resonate or help someone who may have experienced judgment or bias in the past,” Leonard said. “There are leaders that are super inclusive and accepting, and if you haven’t found them, just know they exist and they are out there.”

    Source link


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here