Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Resources

Disclaimer: The resources provided on this webpage are meant to educate licensees and consumers on various aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  They are not to be interpreted as a policy or requirement from the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology (Board). Many resources link to third-party websites that are not under the control of the Board. The Board is not responsible for the contents of any third-party sites, links in third-party sites, or any changes or updates to third-party sites.

Purpose: Licensees may use these resources to encourage DEI in their establishments. Such resources are critical for addressing systemic inequities, fostering a more inclusive environment, and creating opportunities for underrepresented groups. Use these ​DEI resources to deepen personal understanding and facilitate discussion.

California is home to the largest and most diverse barbering and beauty industry in the nation. While the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology’s main responsibility is to protect the health and safety of California consumers receiving barbering and beauty services, the Board encourages licensees to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion in their establishments. The Board wants every consumer receiving Board services to feel safe and welcome.

What is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are three values that businesses should keep in mind when making decisions to promote fair treatment and support of individuals of different races, ethnicities, religions, abilities, genders, and sexual orientations.

Diversity refers to all ways people differ, including characteristics such as gender, age, ethnicity, race, mental and physical abilities, sexual orientation, education, religion, and language.

Equity refers to fair treatment for all by ensuring everyone has the same resources and opportunities to achieve success.

Inclusion refers to everyone feeling respected and that they belong.

Why is DEI Important?

DEI in the workplace creates an environment where everyone feels valued and respected, which can lead to a more positive environment for both licensees and consumers with:

  • Increased job satisfaction and engagement
  • Increased creativity and innovation
  • Increased employee retention
  • Increased profits and customer base
  • Enhanced business reputation

DEI also prevents legal issues from arising, such as harassment and discrimination. 

What Can You Do?

Here are some suggestions of ways you can help clients feel more welcome.

  • Spread kindness. Do not allow hate speech, crude jokes, or any behavior that could offend someone.
  • Create a welcoming space. Think of ways to make your clients more comfortable. For example, some transitioning clients may not want to receive services on the salon floor in front of other clients. You could offer services in a private room or at the beginning or end of the day when other clients are not present.
  • Use an individual’s preferred pronouns and name. If you have client intake forms or questionnaires, update them so clients can share their preferred name and pronouns. Remove gendered language (she/her, he/his) from marketing and branding.  Consider using gender-neutral language, such as “they” or “client.”
  • Take continuing education classes and training.  Do you know how to work with clients of various skin types and shades, hair types, physical abilities, and neurological abilities? It is important for a licensee to know how to cater their services to fit their clients’ specific needs. Take classes or research to broaden your knowledge and enhance your skill set so your clients are confident in your abilities.
  • Make restrooms gender neutral, if possible.  California Health and Safety Code section 118600 requires that all single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment be identified as all-gender toilet facilities.