Skip to main content

Good looks can kill a woman's chances of snaring jobs considered "masculine," according to a study by the University of Colorado Denver Business School.

Attractive women faced discrimination when they applied for jobs where appearance was not seen as important. These positions included job titles like manager of research and development, director of finance, mechanical engineer and construction supervisor.

They were also overlooked for categories like director of security, hardware salesperson, prison guard and tow-truck driver.

Story continues below advertisement

"In these professions being attractive was highly detrimental to women," researcher Stefanie Johnson said in a statement, adding that attractive women tended to be sorted into positions like receptionist or secretary.

"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, was based on giving participants a list of jobs and photos of applicants and asking them to sort them according to their suitability for the role. They had a stack of 55 male and 55 female photos.

While the reseachers found good-looking women were ruled out for certain jobs, they found that attractive men did not face similar discrimination and were always at an advantage.

But Ms. Johnson said beautiful people still enjoyed a significant edge when it came to the workplace.

They tended to get higher salaries, better performance evaluations, higher levels of admission to college, better voter ratings when running for public office, and more favorable judgments in trials.

"In every other kind of job, attractive women were preferred," said Ms. Johnson, who chided those who let stereotypes affect hiring decisions.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies