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Prejudice and Bias Towards House Cleaners

Prejudice and bias towards house cleaners? If you are a cleaning service provider you’re feeling the pinch from homeowner prejudice. Stuck in an old-fashioned mindset of chauvinism, racism, and bigotry. Maids and housekeepers with tattoos and facial piercings are feeling unwelcome.

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru does a deep dive into open mindedness with a plea to home owners. “Hold off on the judgment, prejudice and pious attitude. Permission of acceptance the new norm. Get rid of your animosity, ageism, and sexism.

A savvy cleaner knows that appearance and first impressions matter. But homeowners need to realize that narrow-mindedness and house cleaning don’t mix.

Today’s show sponsor is

HouseCleaning360 is a business referral network for house cleaners and maids and housekeepers.

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

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Question: Prejudice and Bias Towards House Cleaners

Now, today’s question comes from a bunch of house cleaners get resistance from their appearance when they show up to a customer’s house.

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Prejudice - woman house cleaner in her thirtiesAnswer: Prejudice and Bias Towards House Cleaners

Now, in our minds we have a stereotypical version of what house cleaner looks like, right? House cleaners don’t look like that anymore. So today I don’t have an answer for your question, this is a reality check.

The stereotypes are dead.

Times Have ChangedPrejudice - Man House Cleaner

The last airplane flight that I took it was flown by a female pilot. Oh my goodness! That doesn’t match the stereotype.

When I went to the doctor, guess what? You’re not going to believe this, it was a woman doctor! Oh, my goodness! Lives have changed, times have changed, and now house cleaners are men.And they have beards, and they’re bald, and they have tattoos. And some of them have colored hair, and some of them have facial piercings.

They don’t look like what they used to look like anymore. People have changed. We’ve welcomed and introduced a new artistic expression to our society.

Prejudice - father and son fishingDon’t be Prejudice and Bias Towards House Cleaners

And so, as homeowners, we need to welcome that into our homes instead of judging and saying,

“Well, I don’t want a man in my house.”

Okay, the reality is this: if we are equal opportunity employers, we’re going to end up hiring someone’s dad. Or someone’s son, or someone’s daughter, or someone’s wife.

We’re going to hire a variety of different people.

We are Equal Opportunity Employers Prejudice - Creative Artistic Staff

And so, what that means is: if they have facial piercings, that has nothing to do with the job they’re going to do when they come to clean your house.

And if they’re covered in tattoos, guess what? That’s their artistic creative expression. And it has nothing to do with them cleaning your house.

And so, if you are a house cleaner and you are showing up to give a bid and you have a creative artistic staff, this is the time to have that conversation.

End Prejudice, Sexism, Racism, and Ageism

Now, meteorologists do this to us all the time. They get on the news and they say:

“Oh, my goodness, there’s this hurricane coming. You should barricade your houses. You should put out the sandbags, you should evacuate.” And they give us fair warning. When  we watch the news and we see the trees swaying back and forth. And we hear the thunder, and the lightning and the rain clouds. And when the storm comes it’s not a surprise, right? Because we knew it was coming.

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Stop the Prejudice With Artistic Staff Alerts

And so, as a house cleaner, if you tell your customers “I have a creative, artistic looking staff.”

When those people show up to do the job it’s not going to hit them out of the blue, it’s not going to come as a surprise.

It’s like giving them fair warning that the hurricane is coming, right? When the hurricane comes, you’re like: “Eh, I knew it was coming. Yeah, I’ve barricaded and we’re ready to rock and roll.” It’s the exact same thing with the house cleaning industry.

Prejudice - Bias SignHave the “No Prejudice – No Judgment” Conversation Early

So, after you’ve bid the job, and you’re at the customer’s house. If you’ve decided that you are the person that is going to be able to help them with their needs.

And you’ve built rapport with this customer and they like you and they want to hire you.

On your way out the door, you need to have another conversation. “Hey, listen, by the way, thank you so much for hiring us, I’m grateful to you for the business. But we are an equal opportunity employer.

And I wanted you to know that, just so there are no surprises.”

Tell Them About Your Artistic Staff Upfront Prejudice, Bias, Hiring Policy

“And so, when we hire, we hire first on attitude, second on reputation, and third on skill.

The people that we have are all qualified. They’ve all been through drug testing. They’ve all passed background checks with flying colors. And they meet 100% of our expectations.

Then they’ve gone through training. We’re all bonded and we’re all insured. And these are people I like and I trust.

Furthermore, I would never send them to your house unless they met my expectations, okay?”

Give Them A Fair Warning to Prevent Chauvinism

Prejudice - Equal Opportunity Employer

But, I should warn you, they’re a creative bunch of people.

And we don’t hire them based on age or religion or ethnicity. Or sexual preference or physical appearance.

And so, when I send someone to your house we have to look past the things that cause un-comfort to some people.

So, I just wanted to let you know that, does that bother you?”

And if they say “No, that’s fine by me as well,” okay, great, now we’ve had that conversation.

Give Them A Heads Up – If Sending a Staff With Creative Expression

Then if you’re going to send someone over to the house and they do have creative expressions, call the customer in advance.

“Mrs. Peterson, I know that Sherry is your normal house cleaner. And she’s just gone into labor and so I’ve pulled her off the workforce. And I’m going to be sending a new cleaner to your house today. His name is Todd. 

Now, Todd has a creative expression. And as I told you back when we first had this conversation about you hiring us, that I have an artistic creative staff.

Todd is one of the artistic creative staff. And he’s a middle-aged guy, he’s bald, he has a beard, and sometimes the hair he has is blue.”

Don’t Beat Around The Bush – Explain What The Client Will See Prejudice - mans arms with tattoos petting dog

“He’s covered in tattoos and he has a scripture that wraps all the way around his left leg. And he wears shorts so you might see it. He’s got facial piercings, and like I say sometimes he paints his fingernails. So that’s Todd.

But now listen, I’m sending Todd because he is the best replacement for you, (for Sherry.) I got to have you promise me something in advance though, once the baby comes, I want for you to have Sherry back.

Because once you meet Todd, you’re never going to want to go back to Sherry, LOL! Todd is a jewel! I mean he is a gem. You are going to be so delighted with Todd. So, I’m sending Todd over to your house, just wanted to give you a heads up so there are no surprises.”

Follow Up With Your Client  to Verify Acceptance

Man talking on phone at computer in call center

So then after Todd cleans that day, pick up the phone and call Mrs. Peterson. “Hey, just wanted to check bases. How did Todd work out for you today?”

And you know what Mrs. Peterson says? “I was a little bit disappointed because you oversold him. Today he shows up and he has no blue hair.”

Okay! That’s awesome, right? But you prepped her for the worst and assured her she would have a positive experience. Then when he showed up, because she was expecting all that, she has a lovely experience with Todd.

Then you start getting phone calls from Mrs. Peterson’s friends who want to hire your cleaning service. And they only want to work with Todd. It’s awesome. But you need to set that up in advance for this reason:

Some customers are prejudice by nature. They are judgmental based on beliefs passed down to them from friend and family. And when we know, like and trust our families we tend to adopt their way of thinking. 


You may have stumbled into some erroneous beliefs that no longer serve you. 

Prejudice - inherited from multi-generational familyAnd so, if you set the stage for your customers, you can help them realize they too may have outdated beliefs.

You can have all the Todds in your organization you want that are amazing house cleaners. And they deserve the right to work just like everyone else.

But when he shows up to clean, you don’t want the customers to be uncomfortable. And if they don’t know how to react to someone who looks like Todd, they will make him uncomfortable. Either way, it’s not good for business.

And so, once you have established that your employees are creative artistic people, there are no surprises.

But I got news for you; they don’t look like the stereotypes anymore. 

And that’s my two cents for today. And until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.

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About the Show

Learn how the show came to be, interesting facts about the show host, and other frequently asked questions about the show.

Resources For This Episode

The Violence of Hate: Understanding Harmful Forms of Bias and Bigotry –

“What I’m not confused about is the world…” quote by Stevie Wonder, laser engraved on wooden plaque – Size: 8″x10″ –

Radical Acceptance –

True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart –

The Here-and-Now Habit: How Mindfulness Can Help You Break Unhealthy Habits Once and for All –

One Thought Changes Everything –

The Inside-Out Revolution: The Only Thing You Need to Know to Change Your Life Forever –

Somebody Should Have Told Us!: Simple Truths for Living Well –

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HOUSECLEANING360 – Referral database of the world’s most prominent home service providers and the homeowners they serve.

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