We all know that proper grooming is important to succeed in the workplace.
Web Watch knows a few men with (shall we say…) less than admirable shower and clothes-washing habits.
One situation arose where a co-worker had to be taken aside and be told explicitly to go home and shower. It was an uncomfortable conversation, but it had to be done. You could smell him coming from down the hall. Web Watch shudders just remembering the stench, it was that bad.
But is proper grooming for the workplace something that is just to be expected, or something that has additional benefits? Jayoti Das and Stephen DeLoach from Elon University decided to find out with their study entitled MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL: THE EFFECT OF TIME SPENT GROOMING ON EARNINGS. The study considers “grooming” to include: bathing, shaving, plucking, styling hair, deodorizing, painting nails, applying makeup, etc.
What they found was that the longer women spent in the bathroom getting ready in the morning, the lower potential earnings they had.
- A white (non-minority) woman who takes 90 minutes to prepare herself for work each morning can expect her earnings to be 3.4% less than if she took just 45 minutes for grooming. White (non-minority) men did not have a decrease in potential earnings if they took longer
- Minority (non-white) men found that increasing their grooming time by an additional 40 minutes lead to a 4% increase in their earnings.
The study concludes that women are penalized for being “overly-groomed” due to a negative stereotype of women who spend too much time in the bathroom.