Beautiful women face job challenges

Beautiful people have an easy life. That is a statement which many of us would agree with but it may not be totally true. New research has found that when it comes to certain types of work, attractive women can be discriminated against.

It is certainly true that attractive people do have an easier run through life. The evidence is that they tend to get paid higher salaries, have better ratings from voters when running for public office, and even receive more favourable judgements when they are on trial in court. Appearance also matters in the workplace but a new piece of research has found that being attractive can count against you but only if you are a woman.

It has previously been shown that among managers and the general public a person’s appearance was their third most important character attribute when it came to hiring for a job (coming in above education and a sense of humour). This applies for men across all job types but for women being attractive can actually count against you when applying for certain jobs.

In the recent study the subjects were given a list of jobs and photographs of applicants. The task for the subjects was to sort the photos according to their suitability for the jobs. Attractiveness did not hinder a man’s perceived suitability for any position. However, attractive women were deemed not suitable for jobs such as manager of research and development, director of finance, director of security, mechanical engineer, and construction supervisor.

This indicates that deep down there is a perception that some jobs are inherently masculine and that attractive women are not suited to them. If we want to develop a truly egalitarian society we need to be mindful of this unconscious stereotyping because unfortunately in the instance of these types of jobs for women it is a case of beauty being a beast.

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The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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