While stereotypes suggest that blondes have more fun, research has found that they’re also more likely to get promoted. In the United States, only 5 percent of people have blonde hair, but 48 percent of female CEOs from Fortune 500 companies sport golden locks. Researchers also determined that 35 percent of female senators are blonde. So is blonde hair really the key to career advancement?
Why Blondes Rise to Positions of Power
To find out why blondes are more likely to hold high-powered jobs, Jennifer Berdahl and Natalya Alonso from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business conducted additional research and consulted existing statistics. Part of the reason blondes get promoted over other hair colors is due to racial bias against ethnic minorities, who mostly have dark hair. However, the study’s authors found that racial prejudice didn’t tell the whole story.
In a study of 100 men, Berdahl and Alonso found out that the men rated blonde women as less competent and independent than brunette women. However, the same group of men thought that blonde women were warmer and younger than brunettes. The authors inferred that people are more likely to approve of women in power if they perceive them as being less threatening.
This research aligns with a 2009 study that found that black male Fortune 500 CEOs were more likely to have baby-faced features, rather than the more dominant facial features found on white male CEOs. Also, blonde effect only works with women: Only 2.2 percent of male CEOs are blonde.
Should Ambitious Women Dye Their Hair?
Before women call their hair colorists, it’s important to note that men were actually more likely to perceive brunettes as more capable than blondes. So blonde stereotypes can both help and hurt women in the workplace. However, for women who carefully curate their appearance to help them rise to the top of their chosen career path, it might be worth considering going blonde.
For most women, their best hair color is the one that will allow them to feel happy and confident while wearing it. Blonde hair might give some women an edge in their current workplace, but workplaces are constantly evolving as more women and minorities obtain positions of power. Plus, women taking a stand against these stereotypes will benefit all workers in the long term. People seeing a lot of competent and successful women leaders of all hair colors will help eliminate these harmful stereotypes.
No matter what your hair color is experiencing hair loss can affect your confidence in the workplace. If you’re suffering from thinning hair or hair loss it’s important to take the first step and reach out to a hair loss center. At Transitions Hair Loss Centers we will help determine which hair loss restoration procedure is right for you. To set up a free hair loss evaluation with one of our hair loss specialists visit one of our locations by clicking here.
Photo Credit: Jakub Kadlec Via Flickr Creative Commons