If you are responsible for approving your companies work uniform, incorporating an option to wear the hijab is a great idea. As the demographics of Australia changes, more of your potential employees will come from different backgrounds and religions.
Diversity is everywhere
While the many images in the media of Muslim women are drawn from the middle east, where women are more likely to be seen in the burqa, or niqab (full body coverings), this is not the case for all Muslim women. Many Muslim women choose not to wear the veil, or wear an open-faced hijab (head scarf). Don’t assume that all Muslim women will require a modification to their corporate workwear – rather look at a corporate uniform that can easily incorporate a hijab or head covering if your employees choose to wear one.
Hijab isn’t only about the hair
In many ways the rest of the corporate uniform is more likely to cause an dilemma for an observant Muslim women, rather than the headscarf. Muslim women interpret the Qur’an in different ways, but many feel it “does not specifically ask women to cover their head; rather it tells them to draw their garments over their bosoms”. As you can imagine a particularly tightfitting uniform or low neckline is likely to be more concerning for modest women of all cultural backgrounds.
Ensure that your corporate workwear includes a modest option with looser fits around the bust and high necklines, and you’ll create more options for all your workers.
Logos and nametags
In some roles, it is important to have logos and nametags as part of the corporate uniform. You either request that your employees tuck the hijab into the top of their uniform, as the police do, or incorporate a logo/name tag into a corporate hijab. If this is not within your budget, you could offer a sew on or iron on logo that the employees could use to incorporate into their own hijabs.
If you have a job where the employee may get their hijab caught, either by machinery or people they interact with, the hijab can be a safety concern. Luckily, the use of quick release velcro, as shown by the Victorian Police uniforms, can be used to design a safe hijab option that maintains appropriate coverage and integrates well with the uniform.
By designing a corporate uniform that allows for the hijab, you help both to create an open and diverse culture within your company and to offer corporate workwear which will suit modest women of all religions. Hijabs can be easily integrated into most corporate workwear with simple modifications. Speak to a corporate workwear supplier to discuss your options.