A recent viral LinkedIn post of a woman showing off her tattoos in a company headshot is sparking conversations about tattoos in the workplace.
Jessica Leonard's company, Evolution Capital Partners, shared on LinkedIn that they believe the idea of body-art impacting work performance is outdated, and they're proud to be part of the conversation to shift that focus.
Leonard says she's made a very conscious effort in the past to cover up her tattoos and now feels more comfortable expressing herself, knowing her new company accepts them.
The most recent data from The Harris Poll found that in 2015, about three in ten adults had tattoos. That number is now likely higher, especially since tattoo shops have seen a recent spike in demand — which USA Today reports may have been driven by pandemic boredom and extra money from stimulus checks.
So, how should professionals with tattoos handle their own body art?
"There's no one size fits all for everybody's career journey because everybody's background and experiences and story and identities are unique to them," said Andrew McCaskill, a LinkedIn career expert. "The best thing to do is to have that open, honest conversation."
McCaskill said the example Leonard set can be an excellent way to start conversations with bosses about tattoos in the workplace. Leonard asked how her manager would feel about a headshot showing her tattoos before posting it.
There are still those who feel tattoos do not belong in the workplace. But McCaskill says now is a good time to give the conversation a shot.
"Due to the pandemic, employers are a lot more flexible than they've ever been, and employees are in the driver's seat," he said.
LinkedIn says that since Leonard's post went viral, they've been seeing more people posting headshots that show off their tattoos.