Researchers Find That Female CEOs and Senators Are Disproportionately Blond

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Lucille Barrett
Lucille Barrett
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It’s rare for a woman to make it to the very pinnacle of a huge agency in recent times, and it’s rare for an adult human to have blond hair. But blond women are way much more likely to become a first-rate govt or U.S. Senator than ladies with every other color hair, according to the latest studies from commercial enterprise-college professors on the University of British Columbia.

Simply 2 percentage of the world’s populace and five percent of white humans in the U.S. Have blond hair, But 35 percentage of girl U.S. Senators and forty-eight percent of woman CEOs at S&P 500 groups are blond. Girl University presidents are more likely to be blond, too.

Jennifer Berdahl and Natalya Alonso, who offered their studies at the Academy of Control’s annual assembly early this month, say a number of this blond overrepresentation may be explained via race and age biases in management pipelines. Blond hair is basically located in white people. White people take up a disproportionate amount of area within the pinnacle levels of business and politics, so it makes the experience that there are a disproportionate number of blondes. And youngsters are more likely to be blond than adults, meaning the trait indicators youthfulness. However, something blond privilege may also exist inside the higher echelons of energy. It doesn’t follow to guys: A look posted in 2005 revealed that Just over 2 percent of male Fortune 500 CEOs had been blond.

There might seem to be a paradox between the dumb blonde’s age-old stereotype and this desire for blondes in management positions. But on her blog, Berdahl suggests that the two concepts aren’t so contradictory in the end—the dumb blonde paradigm may genuinely give an explanation for blond overrepresentation. “Our data advise that blonde women are not only assumed to be younger than their darker-haired opposite numbers But also are judged to be much less impartial-minded and less inclined take a stand than other girls and that guys,” she writes. “In other phrases, Barbie may be CEO as long as she is younger and/or docile, or being blonde may allow her to be older and more forceful than she in any other case can be.”

Of direction, many women—especially those across the age of the average CEO or senator—dye their hair, so there are some distance extra humans with blond-searching hair than obviously occurs. Nonetheless, that dyed percentage wouldn’t come close to accounting for one in three girl senators or one in woman CEOs being blonde. Berdahl advised the Huffington Submit that a beefed-up dyed-blonde population might do greater to assist her conclusions than disprove them. “If ladies are deciding on to dye their hair blonde, there’s something strategic approximately the selection,” she stated. “If the package deal is feminine, disarming and childlike, you may escape with more assertive, impartial and [stereotypically] masculine behavior.”
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Of their research, Berdahl and Alonso were given a hundred men to rate blond and brunette women’s pics on attractiveness, competence, and independence. The 2 corporations of ladies scored equally on the first degree. However, blondes fared worse on the latter two. Then, the guys had been shown pics of the identical female with blond hair and brown hair. Most people selected to recommend the brunette over the blonde for a process as a CEO or senator. But while the men needed to feel dominant-sounding female leaders—pictures of the equal lady with blond or brown hair, paired with prices like “My staff knows who the boss is”—the idea of the blond woman changed into hotter and more appealing than her brunette dual. Berdahl’s blog calls this “the Glinda-the-Suitable-Witch impact.”

That research believes that humans are better capable of belly a woman leader if they understand her to be gentler, less demanding, and weaker-willed than her dark- or gray-haired peers—aligns with in advance research on black guys in positions of energy. A look published in 2009 discovered that black male Fortune 500 CEOs have been much more likely to have baby-confronted tendencies (a spherical face, huge brow, and smaller nostril) than their peer CEOs, while a previous look confirmed that white men are less likely to make it to pinnacle spots in a commercial enterprise if they had those tendencies. Researchers posited that people felt extra secure with a black guy in charge if he had a “disarming,” “nonthreatening” appearance. White men seem to be the best ones who can’t look or act too threatening for their power positions, probably because we’re used to seeing them there. If someone says, “my team of workers knows who the boss is,” I’d typically bet it’s the white man.

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