Whether professional or business casual, your company's dress code sets standards of acceptance. However, women are a bit more image-conscious than men. In 2008, Americans spent over 200 billion dollars on their physical appearance even though they were going through one of the worst recessions in the history of the United States. Here are a few ways that your appearance affects productivity: Professional Appearance – People like to work with/do business with people who look professional. Every company comes with a different set of rules and policies. “I think overall attractiveness does play a role in life and in business, but it is more about the package—dressing appropriately, having a great attitude, and having a strong work ethic all relate to a woman’s 'appearance' and perception in the workplace,” says Sweeney. Breed Street Tatoo (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Like it or not, you are being judged by how you look, how you dress, and how you carry yourself—and, if you’re lucky, how you do your job. Hamermesh calculates that a good-looking man will earn, over his career, about $250,000 more than his least-attractive counterpart. A WarnerMedia Company. From my readings so far, many have studied facial symmetry, length of the nose, height, and in women especially, their body mass index and hip-to-waist ratio. For women, appearances can be a landmine of potential distractions and opportunities to give the wrong impression. Proper grooming and professional appearance is important to both men and women. Every organization comes with a different dress code. (If you doubt this, talk to a professional salesperson.) So if you're too worried about how people are perceiving your appearance, your confidence could take a hit -- which makes it especially difficult for women to walk the tightrope. Opt for the classic suit-and-skirt outfit in black, gray, dark gray or navy. Age, race and gender also seem to affect who someone thinks is attractive. The dress code in different organizations signifies the uniformity in the system which is the critical requirement. But what you're wearing and how you're wearing it matters less than how you appear to feel, Di Giusto says. Her research found that the latter makes the biggest difference in how women are perceived. Women who are perceived as more attractive may be rewarded for it earlier in their careers, but when they cross into the C-suite, that changes. The Eye of the Beholder: Appearance Discrimination in the Workplace ... United States history alone contains arguably some of the world’s most deeply rooted discriminatory practices toward various groups of people. While a novel concept, this issue is becoming increasingly relevant in modern employment. Unfair or not, how you present yourself affects how others perceive your intelligence, education and capabilities. First impressions matter and the way you look and carry yourself create impact on people you get along with in the work setting. Over the past decades there have been many studies that have looked into the concept of appearance and its effects toward the likelihood of ether being hired for a job that someone applied for or becoming an elected official in which they were voted in by the people the person will be governing. The Importance Of Perception. It affects your reputation. We care a lot about our physical appearance. We care a lot about our physical appearance. The … Be clean-shaven, or if you have facial hair, groom it and keep it within the styles found in your industry. And, today, records indicate that people spend more money on grooming than on reading material. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. That's a lot more true for women than it is for men.". Not to sit there and manage their hair color.". “I think overall attractiveness does play a role in life and in business, but it is more about the package—dressing appropriately, having a great attitude, and having a strong work ethic all relate to a woman’s ‘appearance’ and perception in the workplace,” says Sweeney. "The consequences of that are that you distract from all the amazing things you're doing," she says. Dress code for men: In corporate structure: Despite the fact that men have lesser options when it … "Once women get into managerial positions, positions of leadership, positions of power, beauty becomes a liability because our stereotypes around beauty are that they're incompatible with capability," Wong says. However, when we meet someone new, we inevitably make judgements about them. Appearance can determine success in the ‘social’ space in the workplace. Appearance can influence people and potentially impact how a business performs. Professional appearance tends to result in professional work ethic. Some research suggests women who take more care in their appearance earn higher incomes; other studies instead posit that attractive women are seen as less capable or less qualified for their positions. Across America, company dress codes for employees are as diverse as the employees themselves. In 2008, Americans spent over 200 billion dollars on their physical appearance even though they were going through one of the worst recessions in the history of the United States. In today’s workplace, where casual wear is becoming increasingly popular, it can be tricky to understand the rules of appearance. I’m also a certified Project Management Professional. Nonetheless, studies have shown that, on average, beautiful people get better jobs, are better compensated and receive more praise than their less-photogenic counterparts. While the quality of your work is the most important thing, your appearance has an immediate impact on your co-workers, including your bosses. When it works, diversity increases workplace productivity and profits. But those perceptions can really hurt women in the workplace. Dress & Language in the Workplace. Business Insider: 20 Personal Appearance Tips For The Modern Workplace, The National Law Review: Regulating Appearance In The Workplace: An Employer’s Guide To Avoid Employment Discrimination Lawsuits, MultiBriefs: Guidelines for Appearance Policies in the Professional Workplace, Future of Working: Professional Appearance and Grooming for the Workplace. Physical appearance plays a very important role in life, and it can be discriminatory to both men and women. Furthermore, this effect is not only powerful but also subliminal. Research shows that your appearance strongly influences other people's perception of your financial success, authority, trustworthiness, intelligence, and suitability for hire or promotion. For men, career channel Future of Working says you can't go wrong with a two-piece suit and a matching pair of shoes. Proper grooming and professional appearance are important to gain not just positive impression but also respect in the workplace. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. To break down my research, I will first attempt to study how physical attractiveness is measured. Further, there has been a steadily-growing social acceptance of … Stick to natural shades for your nails and makeup. Forgo the offbeat ties, powder-blue suits and trendy dress shirts. How Does Workplace Attire Affect Productivity? Related: Does high school drama follow women to the workplace? If you think appearance doesn't count in the workplace, think again. In business as in life, “it’s the beautiful people they want, it’s the beautiful people they love,” to quote the (sometimes beautiful) Christina Aguilera. If you think appearance doesn't count in the workplace, think again. Sylvie di Giusto, an image consultant who advises clients on their professional appearances, offers one key piece of intelligence: if your appearance is a topic of conversation in the workplace -- whether because you're perceived as "too attractive" or as "not attractive enough" -- something has already gone wrong. Business. It can also boost a company's public image and minimize the possibility of costly discrimination lawsuits. Your Outfit Impacts Your Business We all want to be judged on our merits and not a workplace dress code. Life is good when you’re good-looking—most of us don’t need a study to prove that theory. The suit should be fitted but not snug. From the treatment of ... affect the ability of people to work. Physical appearance can affect one’s job prospects, promotion opportunities, and relative income. Timothea Xi has been writing business and finance articles since 2013. Appearance influences client perception and company image (90%) Appearance affects employee confidence (85%) Appearance affects employee competency (73%) Â© 2020 She has worked as an alternative investment adviser in Miami, specializing in managed futures. "The more time and resources you're devoting to your hair color and what you wear and how people perceive you," Sitzmann says, "the less time you have to think about work and hone those skills that are actually necessary to rise to the top of the organization.". And although women aren’t thinking about the way they look at work that much more than men, they’re more likely to think appearance plays a role in work success: Ultimately, it affects your ability to be productive and get things done. Efforts should be made to improve on one’s appearance if one can, by dressing appropriately, maintaining a high level of personal hygiene and always wearing a smile. We talked to career and etiquette experts to get a better idea. "So if you're too beautiful, maybe you're not that competent. Studies and research in this area (check out the seminal work of law professor Deborah Rhode and economist Daniel Hamermesh) clearly demonstrate a beauty bias in the workplace. Maybe you're a 'dumb blonde.' Companies should train personnel to tolerate differences in appearance and individual expression, and maintain the confidentiality of any employee making a complaint. Studies show that managing appearance is a fine line for professional women to walk: there's both a bonus and a penalty to being attractive in the workplace. A study by Catalyst, a nonprofit consulting and research organization on women in business, looked at what it called the emotional tax women and men of color face in the workplace.