How Good Looks Hurt Guys' Careers

Male colleagues view handsome men as rivals: study
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2015 7:40 AM CST
How Good Looks Hurt Guys' Careers
Jon Hamm as Don Draper, in a scene from "Mad Men."   (Justina Mintz/AMC via AP)

Beauty comes with plenty of perks—but it could actually hinder a man’s career. A new study out of the University College London finds good looks can keep a male from climbing the career ladder because male colleagues are less likely to promote rivals they consider more handsome than themselves. Researchers conducted four experiments with 870 volunteers, reports the Telegraph. In one experiment, participants acted out a scenario in which they had to fill a job post using a pool of candidates. The candidates’ resumes were almost identical in terms of skills and qualifications; only the attached photos were different. Though beauty among women was not associated with competence, it was in the case of men, and male participants generally saw attractive males as posing a threat to their own position.

As a result, attractive men were often excluded from competitive roles, like in sales and investment banking. They were, however, picked for jobs in which team performance was rewarded. "Organizations want to hire competent candidates but individuals have their own agenda," study author Sun Young Lee says. "Managers are affected by stereotypes and make hiring decisions to serve their own self-interests," she adds. "When employing someone, they do not want the newcomer to do better than them and show them up." More companies are relying on employees to recruit staff so "awareness that hiring is affected by potential work relationships and stereotyping tendencies can help organizations improve their selection processes," Lee adds in a release. External recruitment companies in particular could benefit handsome candidates. (Women let good-looking guys off easier.)

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