Women who wear low-cut dresses are more likely to land a job interview, a new study suggests.
The French study shows that women were 19 times more likely to secure a job interview when pictured showing more cleavage rather than in conservative attire. Women were more likely to get a job in sales and accounting.
Dr Sevag Kertechian of Paris-Sorbonne University decided to study clothing’s impact on the recruitment process after realising the subject had never been studied before.
He will reveal the full results of the study in the largest conference on body image and disfigurement, the Appearance Matters Conference, held between Tuesday and Thursday in London.
The conference will see more than 200 experts from across the world discuss body image issues, like weight loss surgery, eating disorders and unrealistically thin dolls, which are thought to negatively impact children’s body image.
In the study, Dr Kertechian had two women with similar looks and nearly identical work experience and skills on their résumés apply for different work positions over the course of three years.
The participants applied for the same positions, one wearing a low-cut dress and one in a more moderate neckline. Each woman was forwarded 100 roles wearing the revealing outfit and 100 jobs in more traditional clothing, to ensure the experiment was fair.
The applicant with the deeper neckline captured recruiters' attention more successfully, Dr Kertechian found.
Among the 200 sales position submissions, low-cut dress applications received 62 interview offers more than their conservatively clothed counterparts.
Within the 200 accountant positions, applicants with a deep neckline received 68 more interview offers.
The results showed that provocative clothing significantly influenced recruiters' choices, regardless of the job.
“The results were quite shocking and negative but not necessarily surprising – they show we need to conduct more research,” Dr Kertechian said.
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