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chen bao jun
February 20th, 2015, 05:42 PM
WE're always having the debate about hair and jobs. It seems that to get to the highest levels short cuts are still best, unfortunately.

http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/are-businesswomen-with-bobs-a-cut-above-the-others/

Hairkay
February 20th, 2015, 05:45 PM
That man also said curly hair was out. It's a good thing everybody doesn't pay attention to such rules.

LauraLongLocks
February 20th, 2015, 05:46 PM
I think a lot of the "unprofessionalism" of long hair can be disguised by keeping it up. I don't intend to cut mine.

chen bao jun
February 20th, 2015, 06:07 PM
I don't either, but then again I have no chance of becoming a head of a corporation long hair or short.

spidermom
February 20th, 2015, 06:14 PM
I thought the big red X flashing over the faces of the successful women who didn't fit the profile was distracting and uncalled for.

Robot Ninja
February 20th, 2015, 06:20 PM
I think it's a bit of a vicious circle. Women are told that long hair is unprofessional. Therefore, women who want to be successful professionals wear their hair short. Therefore, long hair must be unprofessional because all the successful women have short hair.

There is also the fact that the most successful women are older, and a lot of people still think that you shouldn't have long hair past a certain age. Most of the longer-haired women pictured in that article are also younger.

yahirwaO.o
February 20th, 2015, 06:59 PM
Am I the only one who happens to think those 1978 hairstyles are so outdated and surprised some ladies still wear those today?

.... But on a more relevant note, I live near to a place where there are big corporations and while I had never seen a professional woman with anything past waist lenght, I do notice as a guy, older women wear etiher teased curled bouffant, regular bobs or crazy pixie ulta layered haircuts... While the younger women usually sport the ubber iron straightned look not longer than bsl and the big artificial soft curled hair look. This is mostly in this area where American and International names have set. Around other areas in my city and where national mexican companies are, everything is more relaxed and natural in women all ages, the most common ones are the basic bun and half ups in all textures froem one lenght to chunky layers and short hair while not rare is not that big.

It kinda makes me think if this has to be related with western and I dare to say especifically... American standard ideas of what women have to look like and expanding to areas around the globe.

..... and to us who are not going to be presidents of companies we should just lay in our joy!!!!!

RavennaNight
February 20th, 2015, 07:12 PM
Yes I have noticed this phenomena in my company. All the women who are higher ups, VP's, zone directors etc, all have this shoulder length or shorter thing happening. Oh well. I don't want all that for my life. My job I do so I can do the things I want when I am NOT there. I am not my career, there is way more to me than what I do for money.

jeanniet
February 20th, 2015, 07:33 PM
I'm not sure what the author's point was in referencing a book from 1978. Hairstyles like buns and French twists are very corporate and ekegant, so I don't see why long hair couldn't work.

Sarahlabyrinth
February 20th, 2015, 08:03 PM
It reminds me of the company policy of a bank in the early 1900's. On personal appearance of its employees, the rule was "Moustaches may not be worn during working hours".

So out of working hours it was ok.....

Colochita
February 20th, 2015, 08:13 PM
It's a good thing I intend to work in medicine (private practice). If long and curly is a sin, imagine long and kinky.

pamrlyn
February 20th, 2015, 08:29 PM
From what I've seen of people at top levels - who are mostly white men by the way... the job/career comes first in their lives above everything else. before outside interests, or even family. The 24 hour drive, the politics - bleah they can have it :D

lauren_alia
February 20th, 2015, 10:41 PM
How absurd. I guess it's a good thing I have no interest in being a business executive... Like others have said though, there's plenty of "professional looking" updos one can do. In most cases the muggles wouldn't even be able to tell how much hair is in that bun.

Creagan
February 21st, 2015, 01:43 AM
Did it ever occur to the article writer that *most* of the women he featured with short hair probably entered the corporate world around the time that 1978 article was relevant? And that's probably more a reflection on their hair, rather than their hair being a reflection of their success?

gwenalyn
February 21st, 2015, 01:40 PM
The good news is in the last paragraph, where someone found that long hair is seen as less forceful. I get feedback all the time about being too "intense" and "aggressive", so I guess I'm happy that long hair has that advantage.

brickworld13
February 21st, 2015, 02:14 PM
I intimidate enough people at work as I am now. I don't need an agressively short haircut for that. Though I have contemplated one for a while, I'm way too lazy to bother with styling it every day.

MiamiPineapple
February 21st, 2015, 03:05 PM
I work for a huge global corporation and my hair is almost hip. I work in the field pharma sales division. Nobody at my company has ever said anything negative about my hair only compliments. I wore it down and curly to an internal interview and got the job. My clients also love my hair and always compliment me. I have been #1 in sales 3 years in a row so I don't think long hair and unprofessionalism are linked. And like others have said, you can always put it up.

I think most executive women tend to have shorter hair simply because it's easier to manage and care for. Having long hair can be a job in and of itself once it get's to a certain point. I also think hairdressers love short haircuts because they keep business rolling in.

chen bao jun
February 21st, 2015, 03:37 PM
Miami Pineapple, you do have lovely hair. I'm glad it hasn't held you back and that you get compliments and really hope you never cut it.

I posted this because I think its good to know what you are dealing with and then you can make informed choices. By no means am I board with short hair as a prerequisite for jobs. However, i do think that there are certain jobs and even more, certain levels in certain jobs, where short hair actually IS a requirement. Today, right now, 2015. People are always posting, must I cut my hair for my job and everyone posts, no, you shouldn't and people get all fired up and behave as if we live in an ideal world where it doesn't matter at all, ever. I just think that realistically, sometimes it honestly does. Just as there are certain jobs where a man really does still have to wear a blue or grey suit, a white button down collar shirt and a tie (and certain colors of tie, too.). Men who work, let us say, in the tech development department of other kinds of companies and never meet customers, or men who work in the fashion field in NY could truthfully say to someone asking about this, that they have been promoted forever and they have never worn a suit, or worn a suit with a pink shirt or that they wear their t-shirt and jeans to work with a ponytail and make X amount of $$$ and always get promoted, and they are telling the truth but the fact is, there are still certain fields in which you do have to wear suit, white shirt and tie and if you want to work in one of those, best not to be misled.

And what's even worse, jobs exist in which you will not be promoted past a certain level no matter what your competence if you do not conform to certain norms and people don't TELL you, they assume you know and have decided that you'd rather wear your too bright colors or your too high heels than be promoted; that you are happy where you are. And meanwhile, there you are, wondering why people that don't the same work you do are getting the promotion and never knowing it could very well change if you went out and bought a restrained suit and a pair of taupe low heel shoes.

There just is such a thing as 'look the part' in our society and it may be worse now than ever before now instead of just one rule, different places have differing rules, leading people to kid themselves that there now are NO rules.

kaydana
February 21st, 2015, 03:52 PM
I don't think it's so much about how long your hair actually is as it is about how you wear it. Short hair looks just as unprofessional as long hair if it's not styled correctly.

In my opinion, the general rule of thumb is neat and not touching the shoulders. If you can achieve that with loose hair, wear it loose, otherwise it should be up.

MiamiPineapple
February 21st, 2015, 05:09 PM
Miami Pineapple, you do have lovely hair. I'm glad it hasn't held you back and that you get compliments and really hope you never cut it.

I posted this because I think its good to know what you are dealing with and then you can make informed choices. By no means am I board with short hair as a prerequisite for jobs. However, i do think that there are certain jobs and even more, certain levels in certain jobs, where short hair actually IS a requirement. Today, right now, 2015. People are always posting, must I cut my hair for my job and everyone posts, no, you shouldn't and people get all fired up and behave as if we live in an ideal world where it doesn't matter at all, ever. I just think that realistically, sometimes it honestly does. Just as there are certain jobs where a man really does still have to wear a blue or grey suit, a white button down collar shirt and a tie (and certain colors of tie, too.). Men who work, let us say, in the tech development department of other kinds of companies and never meet customers, or men who work in the fashion field in NY could truthfully say to someone asking about this, that they have been promoted forever and they have never worn a suit, or worn a suit with a pink shirt or that they wear their t-shirt and jeans to work with a ponytail and make X amount of $$$ and always get promoted, and they are telling the truth but the fact is, there are still certain fields in which you do have to wear suit, white shirt and tie and if you want to work in one of those, best not to be misled.

And what's even worse, jobs exist in which you will not be promoted past a certain level no matter what your competence if you do not conform to certain norms and people don't TELL you, they assume you know and have decided that you'd rather wear your too bright colors or your too high heels than be promoted; that you are happy where you are. And meanwhile, there you are, wondering why people that don't the same work you do are getting the promotion and never knowing it could very well change if you went out and bought a restrained suit and a pair of taupe low heel shoes.

There just is such a thing as 'look the part' in our society and it may be worse now than ever before now instead of just one rule, different places have differing rules, leading people to kid themselves that there now are NO rules.

Totally agree. People are always going to judge people for how they look whether we like it or not. I also live in Miami, most women have long hair. The Hispanic culture seems to adore long hair, even the news anchors on TV have BSL or longer hair and they always look sexy. Very different from the rest of America where news reports always have shoulder length hair. Perhaps if I lived somewhere else, it wouldn't be so acceptable to have long hair.

At my last job, a senior manager did tell someone under them she should never have hair past shoulder length because it looks better. So people who think this are definitely out there. This was also a fortune 500 company. I totally disagreed and told her that her customers would probably prefer her long thick hair. This was not in Miami but in the deep south.

jeanniet
February 21st, 2015, 05:56 PM
Miami Pineapple, you do have lovely hair. I'm glad it hasn't held you back and that you get compliments and really hope you never cut it.

I posted this because I think its good to know what you are dealing with and then you can make informed choices. By no means am I board with short hair as a prerequisite for jobs. However, i do think that there are certain jobs and even more, certain levels in certain jobs, where short hair actually IS a requirement. Today, right now, 2015. People are always posting, must I cut my hair for my job and everyone posts, no, you shouldn't and people get all fired up and behave as if we live in an ideal world where it doesn't matter at all, ever. I just think that realistically, sometimes it honestly does. Just as there are certain jobs where a man really does still have to wear a blue or grey suit, a white button down collar shirt and a tie (and certain colors of tie, too.). Men who work, let us say, in the tech development department of other kinds of companies and never meet customers, or men who work in the fashion field in NY could truthfully say to someone asking about this, that they have been promoted forever and they have never worn a suit, or worn a suit with a pink shirt or that they wear their t-shirt and jeans to work with a ponytail and make X amount of $$$ and always get promoted, and they are telling the truth but the fact is, there are still certain fields in which you do have to wear suit, white shirt and tie and if you want to work in one of those, best not to be misled.

And what's even worse, jobs exist in which you will not be promoted past a certain level no matter what your competence if you do not conform to certain norms and people don't TELL you, they assume you know and have decided that you'd rather wear your too bright colors or your too high heels than be promoted; that you are happy where you are. And meanwhile, there you are, wondering why people that don't the same work you do are getting the promotion and never knowing it could very well change if you went out and bought a restrained suit and a pair of taupe low heel shoes.

There just is such a thing as 'look the part' in our society and it may be worse now than ever before now instead of just one rule, different places have differing rules, leading people to kid themselves that there now are NO rules.

Most professions that require certain styles of dress/appearance will drill the requirements into students at the undergrad level, if not before. I really doubt anyone is going to get their JD and interview for a major law firm in jeans and t-shirt. I'm not saying it doesn't matter, but people who choose to go into those professions understand and accept the requirements that go along with it, so shouldn't be shocked by them. There's always exceptions--my husband is an accountant and wears jeans and t-shirts to work, but he's a corporate accountant in a privately owned asset management firm and doesn't have to meet with clients.

two_wheels
February 21st, 2015, 06:10 PM
I've not had a second look for having non-short hair at work, and I work in the ultimate of corporates. I'm self employed but would say I'm director level. Plenty of very professional looks to be had with long hair.

Beatnik Guy
February 22nd, 2015, 08:59 AM
Yes I have noticed this phenomena in my company. All the women who are higher ups, VP's, zone directors etc, all have this shoulder length or shorter thing happening. Oh well. I don't want all that for my life. My job I do so I can do the things I want when I am NOT there. I am not my career, there is way more to me than what I do for money.

Exactly. I am not interested in "career". :wink:

Robot Ninja
February 22nd, 2015, 09:48 AM
Yes I have noticed this phenomena in my company. All the women who are higher ups, VP's, zone directors etc, all have this shoulder length or shorter thing happening. Oh well. I don't want all that for my life. My job I do so I can do the things I want when I am NOT there. I am not my career, there is way more to me than what I do for money.


From what I've seen of people at top levels - who are mostly white men by the way... the job/career comes first in their lives above everything else. before outside interests, or even family. The 24 hour drive, the politics - bleah they can have it :D

I think it is this, rather than the length of our hair, that prevents a lot of people from being "successful" in a traditional business environment. Promotion to the higher levels requires conforming to the corporate mold, for real, and I don't think it's a persona you can put on for work and take off when you get home. The high-ups fit that mold down to the core, and they can tell if you're faking. If you're on a long hair forum asking if you can get away with long hair, you probably don't fit that mold; someone who did would just cut their hair, no questions asked, because they prioritize their career over what they do outside of work.

LauraLongLocks
February 22nd, 2015, 10:51 AM
In my future career as a midwife, I don't think my hair length will matter one bit. For my future interim job as a nurse, again, hair length won't matter. I will need to wear it up for my interview and for work. No one will know how long it is unless they see me during non-work hours on wash day. Thanks to Youtube hair videos, I know plenty of hairstyles to choose from. It will never get boring.

dulce
February 22nd, 2015, 01:08 PM
I think it depends where you live,my daughter is a senior professional accountant just 2 years after her graduation and being hired by her accounting firm
.Her hair is at least hip.She is blonde,very pretty and dresses very stylishly [but classy]She wears her straight hair loose a lot but sometimes does a French braid or bun.Since accountants are supposedly supposed to be very conservative I asked her about her hair.There are others in her firm that do the long loose thing too.In business accounting school,the instructors were saying they hoped to see this new generation of accountants loosening up the old stereotype of fuddy duddy accountants and how they looked.So times are slowly changing..

two_wheels
February 22nd, 2015, 03:15 PM
I think they are. I would never wear my hair down at work, I think it looks sloppy, but people do it all the time.
um, edit - I think it looks absolutely lovely in casual / romantic settings, don't get me wrong! just sloppy at work

YvetteVarie
February 24th, 2015, 03:22 AM
Well, in my field (Accounting) and in my country it seems as if things are changing. For example, dreadlocks used to be considered as dirty and were for drug addicts, street people or witchdoctors (I know :rolling:). but now professionals such as accountants and lawyers have them. My mom and sister are both lawyers and have dreadlocks, and its considered perfectly fine. In my audit firm, several of the female employees are growing out dreadlocks too. I think in terms of hairstyles, so long as it looks neat and ''presentable'' anything goes

jacqueline101
February 24th, 2015, 04:13 AM
I think the style you wear hair wise is more important then the length. I'd say a longer length worn up in a nice bun, French twist, or other style other then a pony tail would fit in the work force better then a pony tail. I'm saying an appropriate style is the key even short hair needs styled appropriately.

Alun
February 24th, 2015, 05:22 PM
I don't think that having long hair has helped my career, but OTOH I don't care.

I am a patent agent working in a law firm, doing much the same work as the attorneys, except I don't have a JD, and the only male I know with 'long' hair at this level or higher is a partner in another firm. He only has shoulder length hair, albeit he used to wear Hawaiian shirts (!) to work, and he has had a few career hiccups of his own. For the longest time he was a non-equity partner, which means partner only in name, with no equity in the firm, despite running a large section of the firm. He moved elsewhere to get a real partnership, giving up the Hawaiian shirts, but then moved again, and is now somewhere where they are all partners, which tends to mean they each have separate practices but hang out in the same office, based upon my experience. [ETA: And no, he didn't cut his hair]

As for me, there have been jobs I didn't get, but I'm damned if I'm cutting my hair for anyone. In one interview a guy asked me why I 'still had long hair', which left me a bit nonplussed. I have thought about it, and the correct answer is 'because it's a free country'. The bad thing is that 'hair style' is a protected class in the DC Human Rights Act (albeit nowhere else in the USA), so it was actually an 'illegal question'. I didn't sue, thinking it might hurt my job prospects, but now I wish I had. Even if I lost I would have enjoyed it, LOL! After all, I sued GEICO without a lawyer on another matter and they settled for 90% of what I asked, after originally offering 2/3, and that was a blast! If only I had gone to law school, because I seem to like suing people!

Hairkay
February 24th, 2015, 05:32 PM
The thing is appropriate is subjective. If I were to take the man in the article serious I would never be appropriate simple because my hair is very curly and for personal and health reasons I don't straighten the living daylights out of it.

Ingrid
February 24th, 2015, 05:45 PM
I think it's just a reflection of the overall trend that women over 40 tend to have short hair. It just so happens that most "successful" professional career women are over 40. I don't think people discriminate specifically against long hair in professional environments unless it looks unkempt.

Disalv
February 24th, 2015, 05:53 PM
I'm still in school so I do not have any personal experience to share in this matter, but the whole idea about women being unprofessional with long hair seems really silly to me. I agree with what has been mentioned earlier in this thread, that the style is more important than the length. This just made me convinced that when I'm finished with school I will rock my sort of curly hair long, just like the rebel I am!

Nightshade
February 25th, 2015, 08:09 AM
I work in the corporate headquarters of a Fortune 500 company and I wear my hair up every single day (except Halloween), and it's never been an issue. There's a lot of women with BSL hair that wear it down, and one woman (guessing in her 40s?) that has tailbone length hair that she wears down daily.

That said, I run around looking more or less like a feral elf half the time. Getting labeled "one of the creative people" gets you cut a LOT of slack!

two_wheels
February 25th, 2015, 04:08 PM
I work in the corporate headquarters of a Fortune 500 company and I wear my hair up every single day (except Halloween), and it's never been an issue. There's a lot of women with BSL hair that wear it down, and one woman (guessing in her 40s?) that has tailbone length hair that she wears down daily.

That said, I run around looking more or less like a feral elf half the time. Getting labeled "one of the creative people" gets you cut a LOT of slack!
Haha I work that one to the max too

truepeacenik
February 25th, 2015, 07:07 PM
In my future career as a midwife, I don't think my hair length will matter one bit. For my future interim job as a nurse, again, hair length won't matter. I will need to wear it up for my interview and for work. No one will know how long it is unless they see me during non-work hours on wash day. Thanks to Youtube hair videos, I know plenty of hairstyles to choose from. It will never get boring.

Pony scrub caps. They will be your best friend. I should start wearing them more often.

Vanilla
February 25th, 2015, 07:59 PM
I am actually struggling with this right now. I just switched jobs to a much more professional atmosphere, and I've found it harder to keep my hair up and completely contained for the entire day. I have been doing variations of different buns, braided and not, and it's been hard to not take my hair down during the afternoon and re-do it.

Braids that aren't bunned are not formal enough for this job, and I'm starting to run out of options with updos. The longest hair on anyone in the company is about BSL, and they usually wear it down but heavily styled. I know that cutting my hair will actually increase my styling time substantially, but I'm almost at wit's end.

I've been watching lots of YouTube videos on updos from fellow longhairs, but I need some help!

lychee
February 26th, 2015, 12:25 AM
I work for a public regulatory agency in a rural area, so my perception of "professional" may be a little skewed, but I honestly don't see how short hair is more professional than long! I wear my hair up every day at work for health and safety reasons, and it's never an issue. In fact, I think my sloppiest updo looks better than my hair shorn on a windy day! (This is every day in the desert...) Now that I think of it, all of my female coworkers have long hair; the one female supervisor even has shoulder-length hair that is typically heavily styled, but still long enough to pull back when needed.

Lately I've really been liking the look of a silk scarf or paranda braided and twisted up into a bun, and my go-to interview/meeting-important-people 'do is a dutch braid done sideways across the back of my head, then doubled (starting to triple!) back with the ends tucked in. I hate fussing with my hair at work, so it goes up into something solid in the morning, and comes down sometime after dinner. Much better than the so-called professional styles that need constant smoothing and adjusting!