back to article Hot babes discriminated against by some employers

Researcher in the States have found that being a beautiful woman, while in general good news, is a disadvantage when trying to get certain types of jobs. “In two studies, we found that attractiveness is beneficial for men and women applying for most jobs, in terms of ratings of employment suitability,” according to Colorado …


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  1. Gordon Barret

    Trick-cyclists ?

    Eh? What the hell is a "Trick-cyclist"? The name sounds like someone who, ahem, does tricks whilst cycling. But the description from the article makes it sound more like a Job Centre.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      A one second web search will tell you the answer :-)

      ... first result in my Google search is " is a free resource for psychiatry trainees who are studying for their membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists."

      Although it does seem to be very much British slang ...

    2. StephenD


      Trick-cyclist = psychiatrist.

      Marginally more relevant, but still seems a bit peripheral.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Off-road therapy

      'tis one of the various light heartedly contemptuous terms for wooly thinking professionals, such as psychoanalysts, and much easier to say.

      As for the matter at hand ( and beautiful women should always be in reach *ahem*), i'm surprised more mention wasn't made of team coherency, and possibly distraction whilst operating heavy machinery.

      be-coated anon for reasons best left unsaid.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Trick-cyclists ?

      Don't know, was trying to figure it out myself.... rhyming slang?

      On a related note, according to the BBC news this morning, female graduates are less likely to be un-employed after Uni than male graduates in one of the most competative job markets ever seen.

      It must be all that rampant sexism in the workplace to blame...oh, wait a minute.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


        I have been informed many times that when it involves discrimination against women it is sexism. When it involves discrimination against men, it is "positive discrimination."

        I still am too primitive to comprehend how any discrimination of any sort against anyone can possibly be positive.

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: @AC

          'Positive discrimination' tends to refer to the favouring of an already-favoured group, and it gets thrown around all over the place to no one's advantage.

          But let's not get into this, huh? The whole thing wearies me to the extent that I wish I didn't have a gender at all. It seems incumbent on me as a woman to constantly justify or explain any perceived advantages or favouritism, and to take a load of abuse around such issues and others in meek good humour lest I be accused of being one of those humourless victim-complex feminists or misandrists (this last being a disgusting accusation).

          And I am tired. And I can't be bothered. You can all fight it out amongst yourselves from now on. I've been picking people up on their dodginess and nastiness here for three years and I'm about done because I don't think I've achieved anything. But then, nor have you, collectively. It's all good fun though isn't it?

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


            The tricky and miserable thing about prejudices is that they both have a reason to exist and they don't. Prejudices are based on stereotypes and stereotypes are usually an exaggeration of something that at one point in the past was largely true.

            In this way it’s easy for someone with a prejudice to point to things that used to be true, or even that are true today to justify their prejudice one way or another. The more someone is on the receiving end of an injustice (perceived or real) the harder it is for them to look beyond their own prejudices. I am guilty of this, as I am certain is every single human being who is or ever has been.

            How do you change prejudices? Rational arguments very rarely have the ability to change emotional reactions…though with some rare people you can break through and elicit change. I wish I knew how to eliminate prejudice, both in others and in myself.

            As a matter of fact, I’m with you on the whole “wishing I didn’t have a gender” thing. I’m tired of being on the receiving end of the stick, and I’m tired of feeling guilty when I’m given an unfair advantage. For that matter I’m honestly tired of the biological impetus which distracts my attention when a pretty member of the opposite sex wanders by. I would pay really good money to have a little switch whereby I could be genderless from morning until after I have driven home. I think I would be far more productive, and less likely to crash my car.

            That probably says all sorts of bad and terrible things about me, but it’s the truth. I am tired of debates about race, immigration, “ugly versus beautiful,” weight, age…even nerdly prejudices such as operating systems or programming methods.

            Why do we constantly strive to isolate and alienate each other? This cliquishness (tribalism?) is something I consider a sever detriment in modern society. The hell of it is that I recognise that I am as guilty of it as anyone else. I try hard to suppress it, but it does leak out from time to time and I will do mean things like tear a strip of capitalists or fanbois.

            The hardest thing for someone who believes in tolerance to do is put up with the intolerant.

  2. David 39

    If there are no....

    pics, it never happened.

    But again its not discrimination, its suitability for the role, if you're a fat bald bloke, you aint gunna get a job being a size zero model

  3. DavCrav Silver badge

    Overlooked the obvious

    "In [perceived manly] professions being attractive was highly detrimental to women," said Johnson. "In every other kind of job, attractive women were preferred. This wasn't the case with men which shows that there is still a double standard when it comes to gender."

    Hmm. So this looks like a report that went out looking for sex discrimination, and found it, overlooking the ugly discrimination that appears to be far more important.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      'Nuff said...

  4. Efros
    Thumb Down

    they had to pay money for this research

    Seems perfectly predictable to me.

  5. Richard Jukes

    Bloody Title

    This is clearly discrimination, however until strip clubs start employing ugly fat men it is not only discrimination, but also fair.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      As a fat bald guy with an average-sized penis, I demand that the local strip joint gives me a job- and tops up my wages (taking into account tips) to the same level that the female dancers get.

      Anything else is sexism and discrimination.

  6. BorkedAgain

    Bit of a non-story.

    Anyway. I'm not sure about this. I'm pretty sure I remember a documentary about the goings-on in an all-female prison. The guards were pretty hot, and so were the inmates.

    Actually, it may not have been a documentary now I think about it...

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      You can't be referring to Cell Block H - they were pretty much all munters.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Cell Block H

        Wasn't that were Australia kept all its munters locked up?

  7. Velv


    Ahhhh, so finally I know my boss is discriminating when he never hires any hot chicks for the IT department.

    I think the UK needs to bring in affirmative action for all IT departments to ensure there is a 50-50 split male to female.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      50-50 split

      Bad news for all the one-person IT shops then.

      1. asiaseen


        just got to be a ladyboy.

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Affirmative action

      So the handful of women in IT then get to choose their jobs based entirely upon their gender, and men are penalised for something (their gender) in which they never had a say or were given a choice? Thanks but no thanks. I much prefer a system whereby everyone has to compete equally based on competence and ability.

      I also wholeheartedly agree with sending anyone and everyone to jail for a very long time that, in this day and age, uses any form of prejudice when hiring staffs. It shouldn’t matter if your IT personnel are male, female, of any specific religion or race, ugly, beautiful or what not. If the person can do the job, and they are the best candidate of the available applicants, then they should get that job.

      No discrimination is ever positive. Even as a joke because you are lonely and want to improve the scenery in your office. :(

  8. Wommit


    And what would it do for your self esteme id you were always shortlisted for the 'pugugly' jobs?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No shit Sherlock

    That is all.

  10. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Silly season.

    In other news, blind people have difficulties being hired as bus drivers. Film at 11!

  11. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Especially when interviewed by a board

    I saw this process first hand. Many years ago when I worked for an international (and very process driven) company they had teams of us interview candidates in groups - typically 6 employees would look after 30 or so candidates and during a day long selection process make recommendations for which ones should be blessed with an offer of employment.

    On one particular recruitment day, an absolutely gorgeously stunning candidate turned up. While technical very capable, none of the men in the team (myself included) was prepared to put their hand up and say "yes, she qualifies for a job offer", although if all the candidates had been interviewed with paper bags over their heads, she would have made the cut with flying colours.

    The obvious fear was criticism from the women in the team: "bah, you men, all you see is her .....". So given the choice between making an offer for someone who most of us would ever see again - as that vacancy was for only 1 of the teams and attracting criticism from the women interviewers who we had to work with every day, or not committing and preserving the peace, we all chickened out. The quandry was resolved by dragging in our boss-lady. She was briefed, went and had a conversation with the interviewee and thoroughly castigated us all for our immature and petty approach.

    Prologue: Apparently an offer was made and duly declined. I guess the person in question realised that interviews are a two-way street and she didn't fancy working with a bunch of ugly, drooling neanderthals.

    1. Martin 37

      @Pete 2 - please go and look up the definition of prologue.

      "I do not think that word means what you think it means"

    2. Jango


      Surely you meant epilogue

      1. Pete 2 Silver badge


        was what I really meant.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      an offer was made and duly declined

      Any selection process that had

      "...teams [...] interview candidates in groups - typically 6 employees would look after 30 or so candidates" would have me walking out before the interview began.

  12. Trevor 3


    Good looking ones cost the same as ugly ones. What would you rather look at?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Donning my politically incorrect hat for a moment

      the uggos are less likely to come down with a case of the babies, thereby negating the attendant maternity cover complications and reducing their overall costs during their employment lifetime.

      Be gentle, sweet moderatrix...

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Donning my politically incorrect hat for a moment


      2. Citizen Kaned


        we all know the fugglies breed at a much higer rate. as they say, fat girls try harder to pull :)

      3. Andrew the Invertebrate

        Forget the hat, try finding a brain.

        because when the Dailt Mail et al produce thier bi-weekly piece about the mother of 6 (all from different fathers of course) sponging off the state and living entirely of the collective Child Benefit payments, those mothers always look Miss World contestants.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not entirely new information, this

    for instance, I know of one major cosmetics company whose UK staff is almost entirely composed of females at the upper end of the attractiveness scale, the rest being males at the upper end of the campness scale, which begs the question of how sexual orientation correlates to success in securing employment in "feminine sex-typed jobs"...

  14. Citizen Kaned

    perfect job for fuglies....

    radio. just check out radio 1's chris moyles etc

    and isnt it pretty obvious that gorgeous women shouldnt be prison guards in male prisons. i personally dont think female guards should be screws anyway, i mean lets face it - how many women have you ever found that are stronger than you? you need to be able to pin some nutter down if needed.

    i think its fair that lovelies are sometimes discriminated against, i mean they are favoured in 99.9% of circumstances arent they?

  15. Gaius

    Where did they find...

    ... a statistically significant number of female mechanical engineers? When I was at college I think there were 4 in a class of 80.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And none of them were hot.

      And thats even taking into that females in a large group of males become more attractive through lack of choices.

    2. Bobby Omelette

      Yeah, but ...

      ... maybe their statistics were significant enough to take notice of.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      By the time I got to university to do a Mech Eng degree it was 1:40

      and she quit at the end of the first year to go Electrical *spit*

      1. Nexox Enigma

        Heh I got lucky then

        My mechanical engineering class was something like 15:110 to start, then the hottest 3 dropped because they didn't like hard work, and we finished around 10:90, with about 3 that could safely be considered 'hot.' And I had a whole campus full of humanities majors to compare to, so the availability didn't introduce any bias to the measurements.

        Days like these, stuck in an office, I really miss walking to class past bikini-clad sunbathing women strewn across campus. Honestly if it wasn't for them, I'd have skipped quite a few more classes... But I digress.

        As far as I could tell, the attractive girls got more help than they needed / asked for, because everyone seemed to expect them to be slower than an average male student.

  16. Graham Bartlett

    @Citizen Kaned

    I can think of a perfect job for Chris Moyles. Street mime.

    Needs to be deeply unattractive? Check. Needs people to find it funny when he falls on his arse and cries? Check. Needs to be ignored by passers-by who find him annoying? Check. Needs to be a bit creepy, like he spends his spare time sniffing exercise bike seats in the gym? Check. Needs to keep his f***ing gob shut? Christ Jesus, yes!

    The alien, because frankly I can't imagine anything other than an extraterrestial explanation for how Moyles got a radio show.

  17. Wize

    There are some jobs it would be a disadvantage

    Prison Guard, for example, could cause riots as they try their best to get their hand on her or spoil her looks.

    And how many would trust a mechanic to do a job if they looked like someone who would worry about breaking a nail?

    And I'm surprised the lovely Ms Bee hasn't told the guys on here how sexist they all are over a story like this...

  18. eezatehgeeza


    "...prison guard (presumably in a men's prison)"

    Is that some Victorian values peeping out from your "pen"? Lesbianism does not exist? Women are not allowed the opportunity to find women attractive?

    We are not amused.

    From "literature" I have experienced during my life, it apparently does exist - thank-Sappho!

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Much simpler explanation

    It's not sexism, it's fear. Fear that wives will find out you have hired someone better looking than her!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Beauty and strength

    When selecting prison guards, firemen/women, farm labourers, builder's labourers, etc. physical strength is a prerequisite. Whilst being broad shouldered and rippling with muscles may be an attractive look for men, it is generally not a good look for women. This cannot be news to anyone.

    The idea that beautiful women should be disadvantaged in hardware sales (or any sales job where men are the target market) is silly. Men are typically at a social disadvantage when negotiating with a woman, especially attractive women. It is a weakness that can be exploited to good effect by sales people who know their job.

    1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

      The Pretty Ones...

      ...have all been hired already by Big Pharma.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Yes, attractiveness is a distraction,....

    but can you imagine asking a woman to reduce it's visibility "for the good of the team"? I had one female co-worker who was an above-average DBA but who refused to wear a bra, trousers or skirts below the knee, hence the "need" for the 2 bar heater beneath her desk. You should have heard the screams when it was taken away as a fire risk,... "you can't tell me how to dress, oppression, my rights, bla bla bla".

    And while we're on the subject, attractive women get a free pass from aggresion from male managers simply because they are perceived as the weaker sex - where's my ability to use stereotypes for my advantage?

    Don't know why I chose AC, as Sarah will never let this through anyway.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Yes, attractiveness is a distraction,....

      Hey, it's your right to show your arse if you want to. Far be it from me etc etc.

      I'm watching you, though.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: attractiveness is a distraction

        How dare you refer to parts of my anatomy in a degrading way. I'll have you know I was very repressed regarding my derrrier during my formative years, and am very sensitive about the referral to it via colloquial terms. I feel so upset I could not possibly perform any rational function (including rational discussion of this issue) so will play the "wounded quail" for an extended period while maintaining I have the moral high-ground until everyone gives up and (tacitly) acknowledges my position as valid.

        PS. Is the irony seeking in yet?

        PPS. No wonder men dress up as superheroes go obtain a moducum of righteousness in this day and age!

  22. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @50-50 split

    For most IT depts I'd settle for 50% human

  23. Hollerith 1

    Sarah, be strong...

    Coming in at the bottom of a lot of posts, I think that, on the whole, these in August 2010 are a lot less wearisome than those that would have been made in 1980, had the chaps been able to do so then.

    I recently hired a woman younger than me and prettier than me. She is having a tough time with some of the older men, who won't take her seriously, but fortunately she is ferociously focused and, let's face it, will out-live them. I did hesitate, for her sake, about hiring her and then thought God-damn it, this is ridiculous! She's contended with being the belle of the ball all her life, and yet she is a brilliant technician and deserved to be treated as 'normal'. What's nice is, as opposed to the male gods I've had the dubious pleasure to work with, she doesn't even realise that heads swivel as she walks by.

    So yay the younger generation, if she is the standard issue.

  24. skeptical i

    Did "highly attractive" include "wore makeup and nailpolish"?

    I ask because when I was in high school and interviewed for a job pumping gas at a local service station, I was told I was WAAAAAAAY overdressed (I think I was wearing dress trousers and a polo shirt) for what the job entailed. Of course, I knew that pumping gas (and changing oil and all that) was/ is grubby work, but I had the dumb idea that I should at least interview reasonably clean. So, is it possible that some of the made up lasses were thought to be ignorant of what some jobs entail and were thus dropped from consideration ("You clearly have no idea what [insert job here] is about else you'd not have wasted time with the paint and lacquer")?

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Not quite

    Trick cyclist!=psychologist, rather it is 'psychiatrist'. Psychiatrists are medically qualified doctors who prescribe psychotropic medication, head multidisciplinary teams in psychiatry, and sometimes practise therapies. Psychologists use human interventions, in a variety of settings,for a variety of reasons. For example, a sports psychologist may teach a player how to prevent annoying distractions from ruining their performance. Behavioural psychologists working in a clinical setting may use behavioural methods to treat phobias - teach the patient how to hold the phobic object - while occupational psychologists assess people for their ability to work in an organisation.


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