Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but in terms of hiring managers, beauty is tall, young, physically fit, and aesthetically symmetrical. According to the “Beauty and the Labour Market” study conducted by Daniel Hamermesh and Jeff Biddle, attractive workers are more likely to be asked fewer questions at job interviews, promoted quicker and will earn on average 10% more in salary than their run of the mill or unattractive co-workers, it pays to be beautiful in the workplace?
Females benefit more than their opposite gender colleagues from being considered attractive by their employers. More than 72% employing managers say to be beautiful is an asset to women in the workforce. In comparison 63% of those managers feel attractiveness boosts men’s progression through an organisation, according to a Newsweek poll.
It’s almost politically incorrect to say that beauty is an advantage at work. The corporate world may be hesitant to address beauty’s impact, but many new generation women have no qualms with using their superficial qualities to climb up the corporate ladder. This generation has come of age when the intermingling of the corporate world and beauty have been celebrated, not demonized. As a result, they have been savvy to exploit their looks to advance their careers.
As teens they boosted their cleavage to receive more restaurant tips, and now as professionals, they see no problem with wearing higher heels or shorter skirts to land that sales account. Moreover, these tactics are encouraged by prominent business women. In a career advice article for Cosmopolitan magazine, Ivanka Trump recommends readers “emit sex appeal on the job to make them more alluring” and to “evoke sensuality by saying they are ‘passionate’ about a project or have ‘intimate knowledge’ of an industry.” In other words, if you’ve got it, flaunt it!
Modern thinking women are adjusting to a new workplace reality. It may be harder to close deals, garner attention, or land accounts. Even if looks only played a partial role in women’s’ corporate identities, it should only be part of their toolkit. To be beautiful within the corporate world does matter. This is undeniable, according to Newsweek poll. There’s no use in crying foul only when it doesn’t apply to them anymore. Some Millennial women are shifting career paths to less looks-dominated industries or divisions within their companies. Others find themselves enhancing other personal attributes, such as style or expertise.
How Millennial women will deal with this new reality varies depending on the career and individual. A small, but growing number are turning to medical assistance. Among all age groups, those ages 18-24 are the most likely to consider cosmetic surgery for themselves now or in the future, according to the British College of Aesthetic Medicine. Procedures that are minimally invasive like mini facelifts and VASER liposuction requiring little recovery time. Those under age 34 now account for one fifth of all wrinkle injection procedures and chemical peels while about half of lip augmentation.
Ultimately, modern women are realising that beauty fades with time, but time also brings wisdom. And this knowledge will always trump appearance in long-term career paths. “You don’t just get a job because of your looks”. “It may be a factor, but there are other qualities. As you age, it’s important to focus a little more attention on those other qualities.”
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