Research Handbook of Diversity and Careers
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Research Handbook of Diversity and Careers

Edited by Adelina M. Broadbridge and Sandra L. Fielden

This unique Research Handbook covers a wide range of issues that affect the careers of those in diverse groups: age, disability, gender, race, religion, sexuality and transgender, as well as appearance. International experts from a variety of backgrounds contribute chapters in their given fields, reviewing current thinking, practices, initiatives and developments within the field, as well as presenting a wide-ranging and holistic coverage of the topic.
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Chapter 5: The importance of how you look for getting in and getting on in the workplace

Dennis Nickson


With attractiveness now a major advantage in society generally, as well as specifically within the workplace, this chapter considers a number of issues raised by the importance of one’s appearance. Drawing on the concept of aesthetic labour the chapter highlights how hiring on the basis of looks is now a well-established strategy in a range of occupations and organizations, especially those in the service sector. The chapter considers the legal and ethical implications of employers often hiring on the basis of appearance, including attempts in some jurisdictions to prohibit appearance discrimination. The chapter concludes by outlining recommendations which, whilst outlining the need for a certain degree of pragmatism on the part of potential employees, equally recognizes the need to work against societal standards of what denotes ‘good looking’, ‘attractive’ or ‘sexy’.

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