Are Your Good Looks Getting You Ahead?

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Oh, the unfairness of the world. Studies by Hamermesh have shown that attractive people are usually hired sooner, get quickly promoted more often, and are paid a higher wage than their less attractive colleagues.

It’s no secret life can be a little easier for beautiful people. We see it all the time when attractive people are getting freebies and constant praise through ego boosts whether it’s from likes on social media or in real life scenarios.

Danish Model Amanda Norgaard told me, “Yeah it’s true! I agree good looking people seem to get treated better, it’s a real problem with our society. The other day here in Copenhagen I ordered a coffee and carrot cake, I went to pay and the guy behind the counter said to me, don’t worry about it, like why? I get it and it’s hard to complain when it’s free but it’s totally unfair to be honest. We are all equal”.

Amanda via The File

As much as I wish we were treated as equals, studies have even shown that being good-looking has benefits for your health, intelligence, and helping you with making friends more easily. Being attractive can also literally pay off, since many people believe it can mean you make more money. Beautiful people generally come across as more confident, as they have always been praised since they were young and therefore have more social skills, and are seen as more able by employers, which in turn translates to higher wages.

“Attractive people are earning an average of 3 or 4 per cent more than people with below-average looks” says Daniel Hamermesh, professor of economics at the University of Texas at Austin and author of the book “Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful.”

Georgie Lupson, 23, who works at a well-known Melbourne real estate agent says when she got the job the first thing she noticed was “every girl hired here is literally blonde, I even think it’s a pre-requisite”. So it seems employers whether subconscious of it or not really do size you up on how you look from the get-go and how you’re going to fit in to the company.

Getting ahead shouldn’t be about whether you’re a man or a woman and definitely shouldn’t be based on the way you look. We already see the problem of gender pays gaps, that men get paid significantly more than women for doing the exact same job across the board, and that needs to change. According to The Australian “Full-time income levels rise throughout the 20s and into the 30s for men and women. The census shows that women peak in their full-time earnings at 38 with a median income of $70,000 whereas men peak at 44 with a median income of $82,000.” says Bernard Salt.

The infamous debate on why men receive a higher wage than woman is certainly a topical one, but we don’t need to be adding looks in to the equation on top of the disparity that already exists. It’s important to start the conversation in making potential employers aware of their subconscious when hiring someone new. Treat everyone equally, drop the prejudice regardless of how they look and really hone in on looking at their skills, sole credentials and personality in detail. Otherwise, it could seriously be costing your business if you’re hiring the wrong person for the job. We really need to drop the beauty bias and treat everyone equally in the workplace and look at solving more important problems. After all, your looks are only an extension of who you are as a person.  

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