Turns Out Being Too Handsome Could Actually Hurt Your Career

If you thought it was just women who are judged by their looks at work, think again. For pretty boys, apparently, the struggle is quite real.

According to a new study from a team of researchers at University College London’s School of Management, good looks might actually prevent men from being promoted at their jobs. Handsome men are more likely to be seen as a threat by their bosses and are therefore less likely to procure equally powerful positions.

“Managers are affected by stereotypes and make hiring decisions to serve their own self-interests so organizations may not get the most competent candidates,” said lead researcher Dr. Sun Young Lee in a statement.

For the study, researchers at UCL and the University of Maryland carried out four separate experiments in four different offices. They found that when men were hiring other men to work with them, their decision was negatively affected by the attractiveness of the candidate and the type of job. On the other hand, women's perceived attractiveness, surprisingly, did not compromise how desirable they were as an addition to the boardroom. Lee believes this is because because female attractiveness isn’t as closely associated with competence.

Lee's team did find that handsome men are typically perceived to be more competent than those not graced with the chiseled jawline of a Greek god, but in a competitive work environment, like a sales company, they found that hiring managers believe hiring an attractive man could intimidate potential coworkers and lead to more competition for internal jobs in the future.

So, how do we solve this issue? Lee suggests using outside recruiters to employ staff in order to minimize any self-serving agendas within the company.

“Awareness that hiring is affected by potential work relationships and stereotyping tendencies can help organizations improve their selection processes,” Lee said.

Of course, that awareness includes knowing that stereotyping negatively affects other demographics besides highly attractive men. But who'da thunk there would be workplace bias against the hunk?

(h/t The Telegraph)

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