You know what I am on about without me finishing the title. Yes, yes, it is *that* woman, in *that* series of Daily Mail articles.
Much has been written, pretty much everywhere, with reactions ranging from astonishment to frankly, the downright nasty, not least of which by the Daily Mail itself today, using a series of photographs that can at best be described as unflattering – causing folk who comment there, not usually the kindest set of people one can find on the ‘net to suggest that the paper itself is now being less than kind.
However, I digress. To summarise her point (I think there was one), she seemingly suggests that she is discriminated against by other women, due to her looks.
The shame is, that if she hadn’t written that piece about herself – if she had simply written an opinion piece that some women discriminate against other women based on looks, she would have a fair point.
Not only fair point, but an important one. In a piece entitled “Don’t hate me because I am beautiful” The Economist this week reports that research by two Israeli academics suggests that whereas for men, attractiveness increases their chances of employment, for women it decreases it (here).
The pair sent out similar CVs in response to job adverts – one containing a photo and one not. They discovered that for applications direct to a company (i.e. not via a recruitment consultant) attractive women made 11 applications before being invited to an interview; the less attractive being invited after making 7.
Having discounted what they call the ‘dumb-blonde hypothesis’ by having the photographs they used ranked for intelligence, they looked at why this was occurring. They found that 93% of those who made the decision as to whether an interview should be offered were female, leading them to the conclusion that some women will discriminate against attractive women candidates.
Here in the UK, it is unusual to send out a CV containing a photo. However, we live in the age of Google, where if you have even the most mediocre of digital footprints, there is likely to be an image of you online – and it is known that those responsible for recruitment do engage in a little digital investigation of prospective candidates.
This then raises two points. Firstly, is there discrimination, and if so, how do we counteract it; and secondly, come on girls, life is hard enough without us having this sort of crack at each other. However, judging by the reaction to a certain female this week, the civil war in our gender is alive and very well.