Attractive women overlooked for certain jobs

LOS ANGELES – Too hot to be an
engineer or prison guard?

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.

“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 researchers 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 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 favourable judgments in

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