Attractive women at disadvantage for unattractive jobs, study says

A new University of Colorado Denver study finds that attractive women often face discrimination when it comes to jobs that are considered “masculine”.

Participants were given a list of jobs and photos of applicants – a stack including 55 men and 55 women Reuters reports. They were asked to sort the photos according to their suitability for a list of various job positions, such as mechanical engineer, construction supervisor, security chief, and director of finance.

Assistant professor of management and lead study author Stefanie Johnson says in a news release:

“In these professions being attractive was highly detrimental to women. In every other kind of job, attractive women were preferred. This wasn’t the case with men which shows that there is still a double standard when it comes to gender.”

The study, published in the Journal of Social Psychology, finds that attractive men are always at an advantage over men considered to be less handsome, no matter what type of job.

In general, it has been shown that attractive men and women have advantages in the workplace. Johnson points out they tend to receive higher salaries, better performance evaluations, higher levels of college admission, better voter ratings when running for public office, as well as more favorable judgments in trial.

Newsweek also recently conducted a survey assessing the importance of appearance in the workplace. The magazine surveyed 202 hiring managers and 964 members of the public. 57 percent of managers believe an unattractive job candidate will have a more difficult time getting hired, despite being qualified for the position. 68 percent said that after a candidate is hired, they believe appearance will continue to influence the way managers rate job performance. 72 percent of the public said that being physically attractive was an advantage for women looking for a job and 63 percent said attractiveness is an advantage for male job seekers.

The rest of the Newsweek results can be found here.

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