New Study Finds Employers Becoming More Accepting of Tattoos



In the past, having visible tattoos in the workplace was a big no-no. But as tattoos have become less taboo in today’s society, employer views on employees with ink have changed as well. In fact, a new study found that having tattoos could actually help your chance of getting a job.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Miami Business School and the University of Western Australia Business School. Published in the journal Human Resources, the research shows that unlike previous times, tattoos are no longer related to employment factors or wage discrimination.

This is great news for the 45 million Americans who have at least one piece of permanent body art, who may have experienced adverse results in the past when it comes to finding jobs accepting of tattoos. But the study shows that not only were tattooed candidates offered fair chances of getting a job, but they were more likely to be hired in some instances.

Study co-author Andrew Timming, associate professor of human resource management at the University of Western Australia Business School, explained, “This may be explained by the fact that many young people have gotten tattoos in the last couple decades, and as they age, they become managers and decision-makers. They are therefore more accepting of body art than their older colleagues.”

Furthermore, previous studies may have had inaccurate data based on small sample sizes and direct interviews. But this new research looked at a sample size of 2,058 people in all 50 states. The online survey asked regarding things like employment status, number and visibility of tattoos, income range, and level of education.

Of course, there are limitations with an online survey. The survey didn’t explore different industries and 64% of respondents were women. But regardless, the responses provided some insightful feedback.

So while it is still up to individual employers whether they decide to have a dress code that allows tattoos to be shown or not, people with tattoos can feel a little more relaxed knowing the workforce is slowly but surely becoming more accepting of tattoos. In the past, employees have had to keep their ink covered and about 11% of people with tattoos have gone through the process of tattoo removal. But more and more employers seem to care less about whether or not their employees have tattoos.

The researchers plan to continue down this path and look further into how tattoos can impact the perception a person has of someone else. But for now, people with tattoos can find some comfort in knowing their ink is becoming more accepted.

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