Women Who Show More Skin Are Said to Get More Interviews & We're Not Having It

"You're as good as any boy." That's a phrase that I (and I'm sure many other girls) heard repeatedly growing up. But time and time again, we find society sending the opposite message that women are not as equal as we think. From the classroom to the workplace, sexism continues to rear its ugly head. And a new study further illustrates the case, revealing that female job applicants who wear more revealing clothing are 19 times more likely to get a job interview than those dressed in traditional work attire. It just once again confirms that, sadly, sexist stereotypes continue to cloud people's judgment and hold us back.


Over the span of three years, Dr. Sevag Kertechian studied applications for two women who looked alike and also had similar resumes. The only difference was the picture submitted with their applications. Both women were submitted to the same 200 jobs. Half of the applications featured a plunging neckline image while the other 100 applications had the women clothed in a more conservative dress.

Kertechian explained that his findings show a trend that "low-cut dresses" garnered a more positive response from recruiters regardless of whether the position applied for was a "customer-facing saleswoman" or an "office-based accountant." (Surprisingly, or not, the low-cut look garnered slightly more positive responses for the "office-based" positions than the "customer-facing" ones. Hmmm...)

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According to Phys.org, he then goes on to say, "The results were quite shocking and negative but not necessarily surprising -- they show we need to conduct more research."

While there do seem to be a few holes in the study (as we do not know if the recruiters themselves were men or women, and we'd like to see the study replicated with more pairs), the results still point to a problem. And while, yes, the results may be shocking, women are probably not surprised by his findings at all.

It's just appalling that the cut of a blouse or dress factors into whether or not a woman is seen as worthy enough for an initial job interview. Experience and skill should outweigh that, but it seems that even on a piece of paper women are still judged by superficial standards. 

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Women in this country have to fight sexism every day in the workplace and it starts with the institution. It's no secret that women make roughly 78 cents to a man's dollar. Now this study just shows that the discrimination starts before we even walk into the office.

What kind of message is society sending young girls and women? It's that we're anything but equal. 

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In spite of the negative reinforcements from our culture, we as women have to take up the charge and prove that we are as good as men. But when will we get the credit that is due? I'm guessing when showing skin is not a requirement to get a job interview. 

Unfortunately, this study shows that we have so much farther to go before workplace equality is even a possibility, but now we have some more documented proof to help fight the fight. 


Image via iStock.com/Poike

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