Women and 'masculine' jobs

Another day, another piece of research. This time we’re told that “attractive women miss out on ‘masculine-type jobs'”.

Researchers, from the University of Colorado Denver Business School, gave a sample of people photographs of job applicants and told them to organise the pictures in order of suitability for different jobs. Perhaps unsurprisingly, attractive women were not deemed suitable for jobs such as mechanical engineers or directors of finance.

Firstly the term “masculine jobs” isn’t helping. Why is a director of finance masculine? It’s a position that could easily be filled by a man or woman. It’s only deemed masculine because the majority of people holding these positions are men, because of the age old problem of women not reaching the top of the career ladder, for maternity and whatever other reasons. We’re not going to get more women into these positions if we keep referring to them as masculine.

What did this research really achieve? How are we supposed to judge someone’s suitability for a job by a photograph? All this did was measure stereotypes. A professor from the University said “in these professions, being attractive was highly detrimental to women”. So maybe we’re in luck ladies, we can still do ‘masculine’ jobs, we’re just not allowed to be attractive!

All is not lost though. Seeing as though employers ask for CVs rather than photographs hopefully we’ll be seeing more women in these so called ‘masculine’ jobs in the future.  

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