December 25, 2021

Challenges of Having Piercings In The Workplace


Body piercings are becoming very common for people of all ages, and for many workplaces, they aren’t a big deal. Many employers understand that piercings are a form of self-expression and tradition, but some older corporate jobs and industries still frown upon visible nose piercings, lip piercings or type of jewelry that stand out as opposed to less visual nose studs . In this post, we’ll explore some of the challenges that employees might face with visible piercings in the workplace, and tips to help navigate the obstacles. 

Creative Industries

Lots of employers are very forward-thinking and understand that body piercing is a form of expression & tradition. In many creative industries, like fashion or film, tattoos and body piercings are a sign of your personal style and aesthetics and are welcomed as a sign of creativity. For chefs and people in the food and beverage industry, body modifications are also a part of the culture and you’ll often see kitchen staff with ear piercings, nose jewelry and tattoos.


There are other industries like medicine or marketing that are also now becoming quite open to staff and leadership positions with tattoos and body piercings, so it isn’t just the creative industry. With body modification becoming more popular, it makes sense that more professionals are also embracing it in more visual piercings and not just a hidden belly button piercing or small lobe piercing.  


However, some industries & many parts of the world do not favour piercings or tattoos in the workplace and can be very judgemental about the practice. If you work in these industries or travel for your job you may find there are obstacles in your career path if you have piercings (unless you have a cool boss).  


Some Things to Consider:

Ultimately, it is essential that you understand the workplace culture where you work, or aspire to work. It is also important to understand the cultural norms and attitudes of countries around the world if you work internationally. While your company at home may not be against body piercings, it could be a different story if you travel to some Muslim countries where body piercing is common for women but could be frowned upon or even illegal for men. 


You May Be Taken Less Seriously 

If you work in an industry that does not welcome body piercings your work may be taken less seriously than your coworkers because piercings are viewed as unprofessional. This can also be a barrier to promotions if your company wants its employees to reflect their views and philosophies. You may also face barriers getting in the door during the hiring process if your appearance does not represent what the company wants. 


Consider a Work Appropriate Body Piercing If You Anticipate Problems

There is no reason you can’t express yourself through a body piercing and still advance your career in a more conservative organization. Consider a piercing that you can remove (once it has fully healed) or cover up your piercing with a shirt such as a navel piercing or nipple piercing. Then again if you are working from home, many piercings are easy to hide on a zoom meeting or barely visible such as a helix piercing, or nose piercing.


In general, there has been a shift towards more acceptance of body modifications in the workplace but this is still ongoing. There are always exceptions and unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way. Some employers may be more judgmental and prejudiced against men having piercings and not be bothered by women’s piercings as we are more accustomed to seeing women in our culture with earrings. If a woman has an ear cartilage piercing or a nose ring it could still affect how she is seen in the workplace. 


If you are considering a new body piercing and have any questions about the healing process or about options to find a work-appropriate option for a new piercing, talk to our professional piercing technicians at Sage Piercing today. We have online bookings available and can help you choose the best placement and body jewelry options to express yourself and still advance your career.