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Good looks can kill women’s job chances

Good looks can kill women’s job chances
Posted: 07 August 2010 0724 hrs, Channel News Asia

WASHINGTON: Beauty has an ugly side when it comes to job applications: it prevents attractive women from even being considered for some positions, according to a study published on Friday.

Researchers found that good-looking women were unlikely to be hired when they applied for jobs considered masculine – like construction supervisor, prison guard, car salesperson or tow truck driver – the study published in the Journal of Social Psychology says.

Good-looking women did, however, have an advantage over their less attractive female counterparts in jobs deemed feminine.

Men, on the other hand, face no such beauty-barrier: good-looking men always have an advantage over less good-looking men seeking work, regardless of whether the job they are after is a seen as masculine or feminine.

The study researchers, led by Stefanie Johnson, a management professor at the University of Colorado’s Denver Business School, asked participants to pair jobs ranging from lingerie salesperson to tow truck driver with photos of applicants they considered suitable for the job.

They had a stack of 55 male and 55 female photos, and the list of jobs.

In job categories like director of security, hardware salesperson, prison guard and tow truck driver, attractive women were completely overlooked, even though appearance was considered unimportant for the job.

Even in jobs where appearance was considered important – such as car salesperson – attractive women were ignored. Instead, they were slotted into positions like receptionist or secretary.

In a second study, participants were also given the resumes of the job applicants. But that changed nothing: the good-looking women were still ignored for the manly jobs.

The study’s authors chided employers who let stereotypes and physical appearance influence hiring decisions, urging them to hire on merit.

But even though attractive women tend to miss out on some job opportunities, overall, it’s good to be good-looking, said Johnson.

When they do get hired, beautiful people tend to get higher salaries, better performance evaluations, are more likely to gain admission to university, get better voter ratings when running for public office and more favourable judgments in trials, she said.

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5 Responses to “Good looks can kill women’s job chances”

  1. john168 says:

    sg women are good looking?! is the writer looking thru some beer glasses?

    • jj says:

      Sg girls not gd looking? Of course got gd looking & not so gd looking ones.

      You go to orchard rd, tanglin rd, bukit timah areas, you sure can see alot of ang moh men companied with sg gf or wife or mistress. Many with sexy bodies & pretty faces.

  2. Clearly the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. She has stolen my heart !

  3. James says:

    Ph yeah! Are you really sure white men always have good looking women by their side? Until you see the typical British jailbird flocking here to find work. Oh! Some of those ladies aren’t beautiful too, singaporean or pinoy/china alike. Ever seen the pinoy with a white men? Beautiful ladies are discriminated because male employers want to keep them in safe virginal roles…….. and as “pets”! Anyway, this article is not about singapore women only. it is showing a reality that employers DO discriminate by using “making decision based on their discretion”. Ever this sentence sounds familiar to you? Yes indeed, many times in singapore. Singapore, forget it. I’ll save my innovative ideas for the days after my migration and use that to earn S$ money, dig the singapore pockets and coffers!

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