Published: Dec. 1, 2014

Don’t Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful

A new study led by CU-Boulder shows how physically attractive women can overcome negative bias when pursuing traditionally masculine jobs: By acknowledging their looks in the job interview.

“Turns out, there’s merit in the old Pantene ad, ‘Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful,’” says lead author Stefanie Johnson, an assistant professor at CU-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business. “If a sufferer of female-beauty stereotyping addresses the issue, the perpetrator leaves behind preconceived ideas and is able to more clearly see her professional qualities.”

The study showed that women who told interviewers “I know I don’t look like your typical applicant” or a variation, then directed attention to their resumes, were rated better than women who did not.

Published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, the findings might also apply to other stigmatized groups, such as the physically disabled, Johnson says.

Read more about beauty bias.

Heard Around Campus

“Athletic and academic success are not mutually exclusive, and it’s becoming a trademark of CU-Boulder.”

— Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano, in his Oct. 14 State of the Campus address, noting that 21 student-athletes maintained 4.0 GPAs in 2013

$4 Million for Water Research

CU-Boulder has received a $4.1 million federal grant for establishing a national research center focused on small and medium drinking water systems.

The DeRISK Center will “develop and test advanced, low-cost methods to reduce, control and eliminate” water contaminants, CU announced in a news release.

“Big cities have the resources to hire specialized personnel to their staffs or to turn to external experts for assistance,” says R. Scott Summers, the CU engineering professor who will lead the Boulder center. “Small systems often do not have that capacity.”

DeRISK stands for Design of Risk Reducing, Innovative Implementable Small System Knowledge Center. The grant comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Read more about water research.