Working women now live in a post-third wave feminist era of leaning in, breaking through, moving up, and sitting at the table. Yet for all the celebrations surrounding these advancements made towards gender equality in the work place, outdated gender biases still persist:
Not wearing makeup can hurt your career
49% of those surveyed in the UK, said that whether or not a woman wore makeup would be a major factor in their (hiring) decision and more than two thirds of employers admit they would be less likely to hire a female applicant if she didn’t wear makeup to the interview. Excellent personal grooming, particularly in professional and workplace settings, is a given and yet, it appears that women’s grooming habits are scrutinized far more than their male counterparts.
Married women (and moms) are a threat
Out of a surveyed 1,712 married or engaged women, more than a third remove their engagement or wedding ring for a job interview, and at work, a third of them remove their rings altogether. The reason: they believe that appearing single will increase their chances of getting a job or being promoted. Apparently, it’s a common concern among women that their marital rings advertise that they are ready to start a family (and thus are ready for mat leave).
Skinny women get further ahead
This budget airline announced a new policy of only hiring light-weight women to their flight attendant staff, and caused quite a stir as this news circulated online. At first glance this may seem like an isolated, industry-specific case, it’s a well-documented fact that thinner women get further ahead in the workplace.
To sum it all up: looks (still) matter
According to a survey by Ranstad, 61% of women believe looks and work/life balance are two of the biggest obstacles to getting ahead. One could argue that this is simply a perception issue, but the numbers (see the first point) speak for themselves.
Women’s rights, especially as they pertain to the workplace, have advanced an incredible amount compared to just a few generations ago. They are climbing up the ladder to assume senior roles and they’re encouraging the next generation to strive even higher. Nevertheless, the statistics still show that women still have a ways to go, but the good news is that we’re opening up a dialogue about these issues, and that can help everyone move forward in a positive way