Last week I was at my regular Zumba class at the gym. While in class, I started to notice that the people in front of me had some interesting tattoos. I started to then look around the room and noticed that I was in the minority with having no visible tattoos. The age range in the room ran from 21 – 65 and people from different backgrounds. I even noticed a person with a tattoo of the Zumba logo on her ankle. This got me to thinking how common tattoos are these days and how accepting they are for all ages.
It has also been a common topic of conversation between me and credit union CEO’s of late. The issue being discussed is should they relax their appearance policy to start to allow visible tattoos. With tattoos becoming so common, the issue of having people cover them up is becoming more difficult. Recently at a grocery store, the clerk had a large bandage on their neck/face. They said that they had to cover up the tattoo at work. I felt that the bandage was more of a distraction than the tattoo itself.
According to a recent study, more than 45 million people in the US have at least one tattoo with 40 percent of those between ages 26 and 40 with tattoos. This number is higher than I thought. Now many of these are not visible, but of the 45 million, how many are visible? With these numbers and percentages, it is prudent for credit unions to start to rethink their policies to be more flexible on tattoos? Depending on what and where the tattoo is, would a credit union accept a visible tattoo?
I do think it is important for credit unions to regularly review all policies, but especially ones like dress code that changes with the times. Take a serious look at your employee population, your membership, and your culture. Is it time to be a little more lenient or is your membership and culture not ready for any changes?