This is a follow up to the post I did yesterday, about how women literally can’t afford to look like they’re getting older, because of age discrimination.
This morning I was flicking through some old company publications. Every year we do two big events, both of which end up in the media. We also produce a publication about these events, which are used internally and sent to clients. It was interesting tracking whose photograph gets used and how often.
I have an exceptionally good looking colleague. She’s not only blonde, slender and classically beautiful, but she’s elegant as well. Her photograph typically turns up four times per publication. Shots with her in them also tend to be the ones that end up in the media.
We had a junior member of staff who was dazzling looking. For the two years she was here, she turned up in the main publications, twice per time. Despite being extremely junior.
Other females colleagues turn up between 0 and two times. If they are senior they turn up at least once, but not necessarily twice. If they’re more junior they may not appear at all.
Male colleagues’ appearance, on the other hand, tends to correlate very closely with seniority. The CEO turns up four times per publication and occasionally in the media. As the men descend in the ranks, their numbers of appearances go down. But here’s what’s interesting – none of them are missing, whereas women of the same level may be missing.
And me? Well, when I first started here, I was nowhere to be seen, despite my seniority. I wasn’t given any prominent speaking or presenting role, as my male colleague took those. Then I lost massive amounts of weight. Now I have a speaking role and typically turn up twice per publication.
My conclusions? If you’re female, be as good looking as possible if you want to be prominent. If you’re male, be senior in your career. At least in my industry, anyway.