Dove and LinkedIn Are Joining Forces to End Hair Discrimination in the Workplace

Dove and LinkedIn #BlackHairIsProfessional campaign

Dove / LinkedIn

The CROWN Act–the legislation that bans discrimination based on protective hairstyles or hair texture–has made a sizable impact since California first passed it in 2019. Over the last four years, the bill has been passed in 20 states and over 40 municipalities. Companies like Dove have also stepped in to support the initative—the brand launched its CROWN Coalition with the National Urban League, Color Of Change, and Western Center on Law & Poverty in 2019 to advance the protection of natural hair in schools and the workplace. 

Each year, Dove's CROWN Coalition works to research the impact of hair discrimination and provide solutions. In 2021, they rolled out "My Hair, My Crown," an educational tool that seeks to boost confidence among Black children with curly and coily hair. Now, the global beauty company is partnering with LinkedIn to address race-based discrimination in the workplace via a campaign called #BlackHairIsProfessional.  

"Race-based hair discrimination remains a systemic problem in the workplace—from hiring practices to daily workplace interactions—disproportionately impacting Black women's employment opportunities and professional advancement," Dove's CROWN Brand Engagement Lead Lauren Baker says. "As the world's largest professional network, LinkedIn is the perfect strategic partner to help drive conversation at scale and systemic change in the workplace." 

Ahead, learn more about the partnership between Dove's CROWN Coalition and LinkedIn.

The Campaign

Dove and LinkedIn #BlackHairIsProfessional campaign

Dove / LinkedIn

Dove and LinkedIn co-commissioned a study to unpack the social and economic effects of hair bias and discrimination on Black women in corporate settings. Some key findings revealed that Black women's hair is two and a half times more likely to be perceived as unprofessional. Additionally, two-thirds of the Black women surveyed reported changing their hair ahead of job interviews (with 41% noting they changed their hair from curly to straight).

In addition to the report, the Dove and LinkedIn teams also released a thought-provoking visual campaign that depicts the realities of Black hair in the workplace. "With the campaign visuals, we wanted to illustrate the impact hair bias and discrimination has while elevating and celebrating the real beauty of Black women professionals," Baker notes. "We used striking photography and a split effect to capture two portraits of the same woman: one with her natural hair and the other with hair typically deemed 'professional' in the workplace. The direct-to-camera eye contact creates a sense of confidence and urgency, while the provocative headlines help anyone instantly understand the experience of hair discrimination. Unfortunately, the text next to the images are real words and phrases that have been used to describe Black women's hair in the professional context."

The Mission

Through the #BlackHairIsProfessional campaign, Dove and LinkedIn's ultimate goal is to create a more equitable workplace. This starts with education. Together, the brands have created a suite of free LinkedIn Learning Courses that focus on topics ranging from diversity recruiting to inclusive leadership. "We aim to educate one million hiring managers and workplace professionals by the end of 2023," Baker shares.  

LinkedIn's global vice president of diversity, inclusion, and belonging, Rosanna Durruthy, echoes Baker's sentiments, adding, "Through the #BlackHairisProfessional campaign, we want to spark conversations that elevate the real stories and voices of Black women professionals and work towards building a more inclusive workplace by training and educating one million hiring managers and human resources professionals on equitable business practices."

Wondering how to get involved? You can support the #BlackHairisProfessional movement by taking the LinkedIn courses, joining the conversation on LinkedIn using the hashtag #BlackHairIsProfessional, or signing The Crown Act petition

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