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Critically Speaking

Jan 13, 2021

That gender inequality still exists is no secret. Women continue to be underrepresented in corporate and academic settings. The factors underlying the situation are complex, meaning that it’s not just gender.  Women don’t all look alike, some are deemed more attractive than others. Being attractive can be a serious disadvantage for women, but not for men. A new study shows that attractive women are thought by some people to be untrustworthy or deceitful, which can influence job interview outcomes and even promotion and retention. Today, Therese talks with Dr. Leah Sheppard of the Washington State University Carson School of Business about the “Femme Fatale Effect.” 


 Key Takeaways:

  • Attractive women can be at a disadvantage in the workplace.
  • Men and women observers rated attractive women as less trustworthy and even deceitful, compared to unattractive women.
  • This disadvantage is known as the Femme Fatale Effect.
  • While men may find an attractive woman more desirable as a mate, at the same time they may feel, consciously or subconsciously, that because other men also will find her attractive, she might have more opportunities to be unfaithful.



"It's good to have an awareness of the ways you might come across, but I think everyone has to be true to who they are. You can't live your life just making modifications based on what you think other people are going to be thinking about you. The truth is, everyone has some advantages and some disadvantages in terms of how other people are going to view them." —  Dr. Leah Sheppard

Connect with Dr. Leah Sheppard:





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Twitter: @CritiSpeak




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