Is Your Spa Discriminating?

We live in a beautiful modern age where inclusivity is paramount, and business owners and managers are (at least, we hope!) making it their mission to ensure that every single client feels welcome, safe, and adequately and equally catered to, regardless of their gender, age, race, size or sexuality.

But sadly there are still plenty of pitfalls, and many areas of the beauty, aesthetics and day spa sectors are prone to discrimination without owners and managers even realising there is a problem until it’s too late. Your day spa, salon or clinic could too be guilty of accidental/indirect discrimination, so in an effort to shed some light on these and spread the love even further, we’ve rounded up some of the most common:

Are your services geared too far towards women?
This is obviously extremely common, in an industry dominated by female clientele, it’s easy to have only women in mind when it comes to most of your spa and aesthetics treatments. But care should be taken when it comes to language used, particularly throughout your menu and marketing, to avoid sounding too ‘female-only’. The beauty and aesthetics industry is making great strides towards lifting the taboo when it comes to male beauty and spa treatments, and ensuring male clients feel welcome is an absolute must.

Are you catering to all sizes?
Would your day spa linen, wraps and robes fit clients of absolutely any and every shape and size? Robes which are often stocked in only one size can be difficult, but imagine how devastated a client would feel if your spa or clinic could not offer them a robe in their size. UK company Majestic Towels, who deliver beauty industry towels and robes, say there has been an increase in demand in the spa sector for larger robes and towels. Abbas Vawda, managing director, says it isn’t just larger body shapes either. “A noticeable contributor to the need for larger sizes is the increasing number of men frequenting spas, as they generally have broader frames than women,” he says.

Are you accommodating all couples?
Unfortunately, many day spas offering couples treatments tend to market these towards heterosexual couples. When creating descriptions for these treatments across your website, menus and other collateral (or when referring to them verbally) ensure you are being welcoming and inclusive towards same-sex couples, and avoiding any terms based on gender.

Engage in training
According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, employers should undertake training to better understand how they can prevent discrimination and harassment in their workplace. Training can be delivered through an external provider, and is offered at a low cost by many state and territory anti-discrimination and human rights commissions. Here are some of the AHRC’s tips for creating a fair and productive workplace:

  1. Make sure staff are aware of your policies and processes regarding discrimination and harassment. You could do this by providing this information to new staff on commencement, promoting it on staff noticeboards and/or circulating it on your intranet.
  2. Provide training for your staff on their rights and responsibilities regarding discrimination and harassment in the workplace. If you don’t have sufficient resources to train all staff, focus on those in management and human resources roles.
  3. Make sure managers model behaviour consistent with promoting a workplace free from discrimination and harassment. You might do this by including relevant indicators in performance agreements.

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