{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I got box braids and the client told the partner in my team that I need to remove them it isn't professional & he doesn't like it. Partner is now asking me to take them off. Just got them & it was exp", "post_id": "582a902b4255a30f00778ad3", "reply_count": 128, "vote_count": 49, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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I got box braids and the client told the partner in my team that I need to remove them it isn't professional & he doesn't like it. Partner is now asking me to take them off. Just got them & it was exp

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White 40+ woman here. 1- there is not a thing wrong with box braids. They are a beautiful choice. 2 -This is easier thing to handle than you think. I believe your company touts its diversity. Simply send an email to your partner, CC'ing your partner's leader. Express concern about the request from the client. Talk about how you came to that company because of its views on diversity. You are concerned the client is pushing the team away from the company's core values. Don't lay it on the partner even though he didn't stand up for you. Give him the out by keeping it on the client. Focus on the inclusion and diversity aspect. Then ask for advice on what is the best action to take to support the firm values. Give the partner the chance to examine his own actions after you have educated him. Above all, be true to yourself. Do not allow anyone to reduce you to a hairstyle. You were hired for your brain. Not your hair.

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I'm curious for all those saying "don't engage the partner" and just go quietly into the night, why you would be so afraid to stand up for yourself? When did asking someone to adhere to or defend firm values on D&I become a bad thing? Or just asking them to hear you out and see your POV? It's called open communication and dialogue. It's what grown ups do.

If you don't take the time to speak up the first time you lose the ability to speak up the next time and the time after that. Clients are paying for our IP, that does not give them the right to 100% dictate who we are as individuals. No one is saying go in guns blazing and start a raucous but to professionally and in an adult manner speak up for yourself.

I'm with @SMD1000 on this one.

And to that person who refers to box braids as something you wear in a club but not suitable for the office, you need to take that somewhere else. It's that same uninformed viewpoint that has OP in this situation.

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1. Document this in an email. "I am following up on our conversation on xxx where you advised xxx. Can you clarify the reasoning for this request...?" For any face to face convo, send and email after summarizing it. In detail. 2. Forward to Hr

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Subtle racism. Tell partner no. If he gives you grief, escalate.

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I really would've liked to have seen the partner push back against the client on this one

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Wear a "Make America Great Again" hat on top. That might make your racist client a little more comfortable.

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You can listen to the other white people and get rid of them to keep yourself out of trouble or you can be your authentic self and push back. I'd recommend applying cocoa butter occasionally too. They're used to seeing white women's hair and they want you to make their white narrow-minded selves feel more comfortable.

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All the partner had to say was "her ideas are the same no matter what hairstyle she has." You deserve advocates, not adversaries. Do exactly what A1 suggested.

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I don't know what box braids are, but I don't see why any hairstyle that is clean, off your face, and not flashy is a problem... I agree potential HR issue

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And these are not EY values. We don't act like this here and your leadership should support you. Period.

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Btw the dress code is actually casual jeans and a sweater. I set up to meet with my counselor, mentor & Engagement manger first and will take it from there. I will not be removing them. Thank you for everyone that gave me some guts to stand my ground. As a young black female it's hard enough to get equal treatment I didn't think this would be the case to a firm I been with for more then 3 years

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D2, we're not in a third world country where it's acceptable to fire subordinates for not blowing you. This is a standard hairstyle in the African American community and has no affect on anyone's day to day life. OP should not be forced to undo it because some dried up old man got too hot and bothered about it

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P.S. I'm a white male and I'm sorry this happened. I see people around with natural hair and braids and I don't think it looks unprofessional.

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I wore a fleece vest over a plaid shirt and khakis at my Deloitte office where we have a "dress for your day" policy and was told by a very senior SM that I looked like I was going to go camping. She felt like we should wear suits even if there are no clients around. Sometimes I feel like people bully junior practitioners based on personal biases. I was also told I'm too "animated" and I "talk with my hands too much." That's code for "too gay."

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The best advice no one has given you is thus: you can either role yourself off and hold on to what is important to you or do what the client asked. Making this a huge deal and getting HR involved may work out but more than likely not. Very personal decision. Don't automatically listen to the folks here - FB advice is cheap. You have to deal with the consequences. Sorry you are in this situation.

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Are you African American? I think there's something to be said here about allowing POCs to have natural hair.

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I'm a gay white female - I like to rock wingtip shoes every now and then. Client told me that was unprofessional. I'm otherwise very "girly," so it was super awkward and caught me off guard honestly. I talked to my partner - he casually and lightheartedly asked the client to articulate why this was unprofessional. The client couldn't answer without saying anything that was discriminatory, and the conversation ended there. My partner then came back to me and said he was gonna be worried if he didn't see me wear them again. ; ) He was very upbeat and encouraging in a way that I didn't expect, and now I know he has my back. I know this is different because shoes aren't hair, and shoes aren't about race, and every partner is different, but thought the story might help you. To all the people saying we don't have a choice to "be ourselves" - yes, the client is paying for YOU. That means if you can't be yourself, and bring your whole self to work, they aren't getting what they're paying for. This doesn't mean you can go all Apple Store and wear a fucking tshirt, but wingtip shoes on a woman and braids on a black woman are not in the unprofessional category for any other reason besides a discriminatory one. Take it one step at a time, talk to the partner, keep it light. Good luck!

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If you cave you allow bigotry to persist.
"First they came for the dreadlocks, and i did not file an HR complaint because I didn't have dreadlocks. Then they came for the corn rows, and I did not file an HR complaint because I'm not Allen Iverson and we're talking about practice. Then they came for my box braids, and there was no one left to file an HR complaint with because the HR department was offshored and Google translate was down for 4 hours."

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i call bullshit @D1. I have seen and lived the looks/glances that some Deloitte leaders give women of color consultants when their hair isn't straightened. the awkwardness projected is silently deafening.

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I'd get a lawyer so damn fast... Deloitte is hiring and we wouldn't do that shit to you.

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This is horrible. Talk to your partner and maybe hr for support but I believe due to the recent ruling by the supreme court on dreadlocks you may be out of luck.

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