Being Handsome Could Wreck Your Career: Study


I’m too sexy for my job.

Are you hot? Handsome, even? Do you consider yourself one fine specimen of the male of the species? Are you finding it a cinch to coax phone numbers and hookups out of women (and maybe some men)? Do some folks mistake you for a celebrity or a male model?

That actually might be the biggest thing between you and employment. Science said so. We’re so very sorry.

handsomeA new study conducted both in the US and the UK shows that handsome men are seen as a threat by their bosses, and there fore a lot less likely to score an equally powerful position in the workplace. (ooooh.)

The University College London’s School of Management and the University of Maryland in the US both conducted four experiments in different office locations. The study found out that when men were hiring other men to work with them, their decision to hire was negatively impacted by the attractiveness of the candidate and the type of job.

“Managers are affected by stereotypes and make hiring decisions to serve their own self-interests so organizations may not get the most competent candidates”, explains Sun Young Lee, lead researcher at the University of Maryland. “With more companies involving employees in recruitment processes, this important point needs attention. Awareness that hiring is affected by potential work relationships and stereotyping tendencies can help organizations improve their selection processes.”

Are we therefore to expect women to exhibit the same level of cattiness with pretty applicants? Surprise surprise, not so! Attractiveness in candidates did not seem to help or hinder female candidates when being hired by other women, because according to workplace stereotypes, prettiness is not associated with competence.

So, I guess there’s a teensy bit of cattiness still in there somewhere. OF course, there are studies out there that prove that your good looks can affect your paycheck, as well as how beautiful people really are more intelligent, but those are other studies for another time.)

We’re pretty sure there’s more to this sort of hiring behavior than simply improving some guys’ chances at hookups at the office party.

Images courtesy of Maria Georgiva
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Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a seasoned professional with a strong background in growth strategies and editorial responsibilities. Kokou has been instrumental in driving companies' expansion and fortifying their market presence. His academic credentials underscore his expertise; having studied Communication at the Università degli Studi di Siena (Italy), he later honed his skills in growth hacking at the Growth Tribe Academy (Amsterdam).


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