Economy

New Study Exposes the Sexist Reason Some Women Are 19 Times More Likely to Score Job Interviews

June 28th 2016

By:
Aimee Kuvadia

America has come a long way since the flagrant workplace chauvinism depicted in "Mad Men," but a new study suggests there's still a ways to go, at least when it comes to hiring.

Research by Dr. Sevag Kertechian of the Paris-Sorbonne University found that women who wear more revealing clothing in job application photos than their conservatively dressed counterparts are 19 times more likely to score job interviews, Phys.org reports.

Here's how the study worked, according to Phys.org:

"As job advertisements came up over a period of three years, he put two women forward for the roles. Both have similar looks and near identical skills and experience on their CVs but were dressed differently in their application photographs, with one wearing a low-cut dress and the other in round neck clothing. Each woman was forwarded for 100 roles wearing the revealing outfit and 100 jobs in the more traditional clothing, to ensure the experiment was fair."

In both sales and accounting applications, the woman pictured in more revealing dress scored, on average, 65 more interviews.

Kertechian tells Phys.org:

"The results were quite shocking and negative but not necessarily surprising – they show we need to conduct more research."

Here's how social media is reacting to the results of Kertechian's study:

Some are wondering why a photo should be included on a job application in the first place.

low-cut top study

Some weren't the least bit surprised.

low-cut top study comments

The results of Kertechian's study introduces a confusing paradox for female employees: They're incentivized to dress provocatively to secure an interview, but if they're given the job, that same attire may land them in trouble with human resources.

Unlike men, whose attire typically comprises a shirt, pants, and shoes, women have more options, and thus are more likely to offend co-workers with their clothing choices. For female employees, office attire is often a no-win situation.

Emma Bell, professor of management and organization studies at Keele University in the U.K., wrote about this frustrating dynamic for Newsweek in May.

"All too often, women are either accused of appearing 'too sexy' for work through their clothing choices, or excessively masculine. Studies of female professionals show that in sectors like banking and finance, women often feel scrutinized and made to feel out of place. Whether they wear a plain dark suit or a 'too bright' dress, women report that they find it almost impossible to blend in and not be the focus of male comments."