Beautiful woman in a leadership place causes mistrust and a sense of danger while the men in her entourage is afraid for his family, while women see it as a competitor. To such conclusion sociologists, published an article in the journal Sex Roles, RIA Novosti reported.
“Often it happens that very beautiful women are perceived between men and women as a kind of threat to their life and tranquility. This is important in cases when we have to assess how ready we are to trust them and believe what they say,” says Lee Sheppard (Leah Sheppard) from the University of Washington in Pullman (USA).
Sheppard and her colleague Stephanie Johnson (Stephanie Johnson) from the state University of Colorado in boulder (USA) decided to find out why that is so. The reason for the study was a news report with a story about how the court of Iowa has justified a dentist, fired assistant because of the fact that “she was too beautiful, distracting him from his work and threatened the well-being of his family.”
Colleagues-scientists undertook to study the question: does the lack of attractive women in leadership positions because they are traditionally considered difficult, responsible, a “male” job, or deeply rooted “historical” sexual discrimination or other reasons.
To do this, they came up with a few dozen stories about fictional corporations that are controlled by attractive or unattractive men and women, about the successes and challenges in their work. The stories had roughly one content, the plot changing only the company name, floor Director and his or her photos.
All these stories had to read two hundred volunteers, recruited Sheppard and Johnson online. Readers were asked to rate the “believability” of the statements of a supervisor and to call someone of them, who would they trust more.
As it turned out, both men and women who read stories about fictional companies, about equally treated beautiful women-leaders. Overall, they are much less trusted them, than ugly the ladies and men of any appearance. The negative attitude is not dependent on the scope of the company from plot: beauties would not trust that drive though it is IT company, though a PR firm or even a hospital.
Similar to the results of polls according to the authors, suggests that a small number of attractive business woman and boss is not for misogyny or those that work in leadership positions traditionally considered “male” vocation. This “gender gap”, in their opinion, is associated with the phenomenon, which they called the effect of “femme fatale”.
It is associated with the history of human evolution lies in the fact that both men and women subconsciously believe beautiful women are dangerous for your own career and family happiness. First you see them as a threat to family stability and the second potential rival and intruder.
Following this idea, Sheppard and Johnson conducted another similar experiment, before which they divided the volunteers into two groups. First, they asked half of them to tell about when they became fully confident in the loyalty of their spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend, and the second is about when they just felt good.
Follow-up surveys showed that this trick of “erased” all the distrust of the beautiful chiefs. The participants of the experiments from the first group treated them as well as to nondescript a businesswoman, whereas for the second it was not typical.
This idea, as suggested by Sheppard and Johnson, can be adopted by women who want to build a career in a typically “masculine” occupations or to achieve maximum heights in the career of head.