Study Reveals The Disturbing Mentality Behind How We Think Competent Women Should Dress at Work


It’s no secret that women often get the short end of the stick in the business world. They get paid less, have lower chances of promotion and are called “b*tches” if they are assertive. A study done in 1990 by Sandra M. Forsythe from Auburn University reveals even more disturbing details on how bad women actually have it in the office.

The Study

Researchers asked 109 participants in marketing and branding positions to watch four videos of female applicants interviewing for a management job. The applicants wore outfits with various degrees of masculinity. The “masculine” outfits emphasized strong angular lines, straight silhouettes and darker colors, while the “feminine” outfits emphasized curvy lines, rounded silhouettes and lighter colors.


The Results

They found that the more masculine the applicant’s outfit was, the more likely she would be recommended to be hired. Here’s the kicker: This was regardless of whether the participant was a man or a women.

Forsythe elaborated:

“This study, although limited in its design (i.e., there was no real interview context) has shown that masculinity of female applicants’ dress is an important factor influencing the selection decision for management positions. Although dress is only one of many variables influencing hiring decisions, it is a variable that an applicant can manipulate easily.”

Research also finds that most people sees capable bosses as tall, athletically fit and having deeper voices.

It appears we, as a society, still have a long way to go. Hopefully we finally reach a point where women don’t need to act like men in order to be respected in the business world.

h/t: Business Insider

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