06th January 2021
DOVE SPEARHEADS NEW INITIATIVES IN FIGHT TO END HAIR DISCRIMINATION IN THE UK· New research highlights that hair discrimination continues to be a problem in the UK: In a survey of 1,000 people Dove found that 51% of Black children (11 – 17) have been sent home from school and 25% of Black adults have been sent from work for wearing their hair naturally· As the first supporter of the Halo Collective, Dove announces new initiatives to help end hair discrimination in the UK including development of a CROWN UK Fund and creation of educational resources· United in their goal to end hair discrimination in the workplace and schools where 65% of Black British people have experienced hair discrimination· Broadcaster and Academic Emma Dabiri and ub Hair owner Zina Alfa share their own experiences and discuss how we can all support in the collective fight against hair biasJanuary 2021, London: Today, Dove strengthens its efforts to end hair discrimination in the UK, bolstering the Dove Self-Esteem Project to provide support to schools to tackle the issue and development of a CROWN UK Fund (Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) of £170,000 to help combat hair bias.Despite race-based bias being made illegal under the UK Equalities Act in 2010, hair discrimination remains an issue. New research from Dove found that 63% of adults have experienced hair discrimination as a result of wearing their hair naturally or in a protective style, while 37% of Black adults have experienced discrimination due to their hair at work and a quarter (25%) have been sent home from work for wearing their hair naturally. These experiences have a profound impact on psychological safety and wellbeing, with 41% reporting they felt embarrassed, uncomfortable or discriminated against as a result, impacting how Black men and women show up in a professional or educational setting.Action starts within organisations. To ensure that no-one experiences racism, discrimination or unfair consequences for choosing to wear their hair naturally at work or school, Dove has become the first brand to support the Halo Collective, led by The Advocacy Academy, to champion the Halo Code within the workplace and help to end hair discrimination for good. As part of this initiative, Unilever is supporting the new Halo Code to protect its employees from race-based hair bias. Dove (and Unilever) will also actively encourage its network of suppliers, retailers and organisations to adopt the new Halo Code to raise awareness of the issue and to help end the stigma in order to ensure no-one experiences prejudice as a result of their hair.Furthermore, to accelerate its work to help eradicate race-based hair discrimination, Dove will launch the CROWN UK Fund in early 2021.The CROWN UK Fund will invest £170,000 during 2021 with the aim of supporting the Black Community in the UK through grants to Black-led grassroot organisations and projects who are working to eliminate barriers to progress for Black women and girls and driving for long-term systemic change. The CROWN UK Fund will open on 4th January 2021 and invites organisations with expertise and capabilities in this space to apply for grants of up to £20,000. The CROWN UK Fund aims to eliminate barriers to progress for women and girls in the Black community and empower the next generation.Dove is also looking to help affect change in schools – where hair discrimination is a real problem, with children as young as 11 having experienced it. Sadly, more than half (51%) of those between 11 and 17 years old said they had been sent home from school for wearing their hair naturally. This has a big impact on children’s self-esteem, causing over half (52%) to change or alter the appearance of their hair in order to conform to what are considered ‘normal’ standards of beauty, while a further 58% of children have wished they had a different hair type.To counter this, Dove developed a workshop via the Dove Self-Esteem Project to support teachers in discussions about hair discrimination, in an effort to bring an end to hair discrimination in schools. The programme, which has been developed in association with educators and experts, will provide guidance and downloadable resources for teachers looking to run workshops to educate children about this issue. The resources will be available from February 2021 with an aim to touch over 35,000 lives within one year.Academic, author and broadcaster, Emma Dabiri said “The issue of hair discrimination has always been important yet as a form of racism, it is all too often overlooked. Following the Black Lives Matter movement, it is more important than ever to shine a light on this subtle form of discrimination that can be hidden under out-dated, and prejudiced, ideas of ‘professionalism’. I want to see an end to Black children being sent home from school for wearing their natural afro hair, I want to see that a Black person with braids would be deemed just as professional as the next person. I want to see an end to all hair discrimination.”Firdaous El Honsali, Global Communications Director, Dove said: “The initiatives we’re announcing today are a continuation of Dove’s longstanding efforts to contest harmful beauty standards. Dove is proud to be a co-founder and champion of the CROWN Act, which has passed in seven states across the US over the past year, as well as supporting the Channel 4 documentary, Hair Power: Me and My Afro which shed light on the huge impact that hair discrimination can have on real people. We believe that everyone should feel beautiful in their natural hair and are taking action to ensure that we end race-based hair bias and discrimination.”Building from her own experiences of hair discrimination Zina Alfa, founder of Ub Hair said: “Natural and protective hairstyles including Afros, braids and locs are traditional ways to express our heritage and simply have our hair. It is because this is not understood that young children are subjected to being punished by teachers or bullied by peers. When we're not attacked, we also experience people that see our hair, touch it, and grab it without permission – making us uncomfortable. It’s not ok for people to be targeted because of their hair.”The Halo Collective commented: “We’re thrilled that Dove is one of the first supporters of our campaign to end hair discrimination in the UK and we welcome the changes and initiatives that the brand is supporting. It is our belief that it will take organisations and activists working together to shine a spotlight on the injustice of hair inequality and create real and lasting change”Change starts with something as simple as signing a petition. Emma Dabiri and Zina Alfa have both created petitions to make hair discrimination illegal under the UK Equalities Act – something that Dove fully supports and champions. To help drive change, please add your signature here:https://www.change.org/t/end-hair-discrimination-en-gb.To find out more about the CROWN UK Fund and how to apply, please visit:For more information about hair discrimination please visit: https://www.dove.com/uk/stories/about-dove/untangling-hair-discrimination.htmlNotes to editors*Research was conducted by OnePoll surveying 500 Black adults (men and women, 18+) and 500 Black pre-teens / teens (girls and boys 11-17 years old) in England and Wales from 12/10/20 – 23/10/20.
About the Dove Self-Esteem Project:
· At Dove, we believe no young person should be held back from reaching their full potential. However, low body confidence and anxieties over appearance keep young people from being their best selves, affecting their health, friendships, and even performance at school.
· The Dove Self-Esteem Project was created from a vision where we believe a positive experience of beauty should be accessible to everyone. We partner with leading experts in the fields of psychology, health, and body image to create a program of evidence-based resources, including parenting advice, to help young people form healthy friendships, overcome body image issues, and be their best selves.
· Since 2004 the Dove Self-Esteem Project has educated over 60 million young people in 142 countries in body confidence and has become the biggest provider of self-esteem education of its kind. But we won’t stop there. Our global mission is to help ¼ of a billion young people build self-esteem from 2004 to 2030.