Take a moment to look through your company’s website. Scroll through the bios of the executive team. If you have a female CEO, there’s a strange phenomenon you might notice: there’s a good chance she’s blond.
Now that might not seem so unusual – after all, it’s just a hair color. However, when you take into account that 48 percent of female S&P 500 CEOs are blond, while only 5 percent of white American adults have golden locks, something starts to seem odd. And it’s not just CEOs that are affected – 35 percent of female United States Senators are also blond, as well as the majority of university presidents.
So what’s the deal? Do blonds have more fun and enjoy better career success, or is there something other than genetics at play? Apparently, being blond is actually the key to being viewed as a successful female leader. Sorry, fellow brunettes, but we’re all screwed. Even though we’re in 2016, there can still be some resistance to female leadership – if you don’t believe me, just look at the political Facebook posts from everyone you went to high school with. Jennifer Berdahl, who conducted the study, found that women who chose to dye their hair blond were actually respected more in the workplace. Berdahl says, “If women are choosing to dye their hair blonde, there’s something strategic about the choice. If the package is feminine, disarming and childlike, you can get away with more assertive, independent and [stereotypically] masculine behavior.” Additionally, in surveying a male study group, Berdahl and her colleagues found that blond female leaders were perceived as being “warmer” than female brunette leaders, which may garner more workplace respect and improve office relationships.
Will I dye my hair in order to get ahead? Probably not, but then again, I couldn’t give two shits whether anyone I work with thinks I’m friendly or not. However, if you actually care about getting along with your employees and being viewed as a kind, caring leader, you may want to book an appointment with your hair stylist – a promotion may be in order..
Image via YouTube