University research tries to reconcile the inconsistency between how:
- Attractive women are more likely to be promoted because people tend to project positive traits onto them.
- Attractive women are less likely to be hired if they include a photo in their resume. Attractive men, however, were more likely to be hired.
Then, the researchers discover there is a difference between the post-wall fatties who hire over at Human Resources and the boss who promotes people.
Academia can be quite dominated with paradigms of patriarchal control, and so it can be difficult for them to see when women have societal agency. A group of Israeli academics were trying to reconcile the seeming inconsistency between the bias favoring attractive people, but they were concerned how this bias was unbalanced during the hiring process if a photo was attached to the resume. Attractive males were favored. Attractive females were discriminated against.
For men, the results were as expected. Hunks were more likely to be called for an interview if they included a photo. Ugly men were better off not including one. However, for women this was reversed. Attractive females were less likely to be offered an interview if they included a mugshot. When applying directly to a company (rather than through an agency) an attractive woman would need to send out 11 CVs on average before getting an interview; an equally qualified plain one just seven.
Of course, they were quick to look at all the ways women were objects and victims. They examined the “dumb-blonde hypothesis”—that people assume beautiful women to be stupid. Nope. Not that one.
Well, who is doing the hiring? Human Resources. Gosh, wouldn't you know it, they're nearly all post-wall jealous women. After a bunch of research, they were forced to conclude the following.
So the cause of the discrimination must lie elsewhere. Human resources departments tend to be staffed mostly by women. Indeed, in the Israeli study, 93% of those tasked with selecting whom to invite for an interview were female. The researchers' unavoidable—and unpalatable—conclusion is that old-fashioned jealousy led the women to discriminate against pretty candidates.
Society struggles with giving agency to women. Men? Lift, groom yourself, and be more attractive. Let that improve your chances of being hired over your tubby competitors. The ladies in HR will push your application in the right pile.