What Are the Benefits of Beauty in a Workplace?

Putting your best face foward can net you a higher salary.

Putting your best face foward can net you a higher salary.

Taking a little extra time with your makeup each morning may just earn you a higher paycheck. That’s because some experts believe that attractive people have more success in the workplace than their genetically challenged co-workers. Of course there are some jobs where this is blatantly true, such as acting and modeling. You may be wondering if this is true for the run-of-the mill office worker, some experts believe that it is. The benefits of beauty are plentiful when it comes to office opportunities.

Better Chances in the Interview Room

In a joint research study by the University of Houston and Rice University, researchers found that attractive people have an advantage during an interview. They found that people with facial abnormalities, such as birthmarks, scars or a blemish receive lower marks from interviewers. The interviewers were focused more on the flaws and when surveyed later, didn’t remember too much about the applicant's qualifications. Focusing on the flaws generated lower scores. Other studies show that attractive people tend to be hired more quickly over those with less-than-stellar looks.

Bigger Paychecks

Daniel Hamermesh, an economics professor at the University of Texas, theorizes that attractive people take home a salary that is 3 to 4 percent higher than their less attractive colleagues. Studies done on the topic agree with his theory. In 2005, "USA Today" published an article stating that employees with less than average looks earned about 9 percent less than their beautiful co-workers. Attractive people seem to be more successful in their careers. Some theorists believe that this is because we all want to be around beautiful people. No one really wants to buy makeup from an unattractive sales person. Since beauty attracts people, companies pay attractive people more because they are assets to the company.

Upward Mobility

Another benefit of beauty in the workplace is receiving positive evaluations. Of course evaluations are based on more than just looks, but studies show that attractive people receive better evaluations. Positive evaluations lead to greater opportunities for advancing through the ranks. Research shows that attractive people get promoted more quickly. You see this in fields where everyone is beautiful, like modeling. Supermodels advance more quickly into the modeling stratosphere than their ho-hum counterparts. The other point of beauty is that it makes one appear successful even if that is not the case. The illusion of success is enough sometimes to open doors of opportunity.

Disadvantages

It’s hard to imagine that there are any downsides to being beautiful, but when it comes to the workplace there are a few. For women, there is sometimes a perception that beauty is distracting. This occurs every so often in male-dominated fields, such as business or law. In such fields, beauty may backfire due to an employer thinking that someone has more beauty than brains. The other downside to a preoccupation with beauty is that individuals who don’t conform to beauty standards may get hurt. Some employers now insist that women wear makeup or conform to certain set standards or beauty. An example of this is casinos which require their female employees to have certain hairstyles and to wear makeup. Enforcing these types of rules runs the risk of eliminating “natural beauty” in a workplace.

 

About the Author

Adele Burney started her writing career in 2009 when she was a featured writer in "Membership Matters," the magazine for Junior League. She is a finance manager who brings more than 10 years of accounting and finance experience to her online articles. Burney has a degree in organizational communications and a Master of Business Administration from Rollins College.

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