New research from The University of Western Australia and University of Miami has discovered people with tattoos are not disadvantaged when it comes to employment.
Researchers collected data from more than 2000 people across the United States to try to find out if the perception that tattoos negatively affect a person’s employability, wages and acceptance in the workplace was true.
Associate Professor of Human Resource Management Andrew R. Timming at UWA’s Business School said the results indicated that, contrary to popular opinion as well as previous research findings, having tattoos did not appear to be associated with disadvantage or different treatment in the workforce.
“What’s interesting about this is it flies in the face of common perceptions that tattoos, particularly visible ones, lead to a negative judgement being made about how an employee is perceived,” Professor Timming said.
“What is also interesting is that the study found that people with tattoos are not only on an even footing in finding employment and in the workplace, but in some cases having a tattoo actually worked in their favour.”
Professor Timming said the results of the study suggest society is becoming more accepting of tattoos.
“Historically, tattoos have been associated with lower classes, crime, drug abuse and mental illness, however in the past few decades tattooing has broken away from those stereotypes as a form of self-expression.”
“Previous research has found that employers held largely negative views toward body art, but this new study suggests that times are changing quickly, along with public attitudes.”
“We used multiple measures of tattoos, including whether the respondent had one, how many tattoos the respondent had, and whether the tattoos were visible. In each case, there was no evidence that body art reduces wages or employment opportunities.”
The findings have been published in Human Relations
Jess Reid (UWA Media and Public Relations Advisor) 08 6488 6876