While men just need to show up in a suit and have one of four sanctioned haircuts (just kidding, kind of), women are expected to adhere to a stringent regime of primping and preening to get promoted, as the following studies attest to.
Be pretty, but not that pretty. According to researchers at the University of Chicago, once women get into positions of power, beauty becomes a liability because our stereotypes around beauty are that they’re incompatible with capability.
Have brunette hair. Bad news for blondes: Men see brunette women as better leaders than fairer haired peers. In three studies, University of British Columbia researchers surveyed 100 men to see how they felt about women CEOs who were blonde and brunette. Although men rated blondes and brunettes the same in attractiveness, in the important quality of leadership, brunettes were seen as superior.
Wear well-fitted clothes. If you want a promotion, dress as if you already have it. What would a person with one wear? For one thing, perfect fit: no too-baggy pants or too-tight waists. We know from studies that well-fitted clothing makes others perceive us as more successful.
Shop at Sephora. A Harvard University study found cosmetics can change peoples perceptions of a womans likability, her competence and (provided she does not overdo it) her trustworthiness. The participants judged women made up in three looks (natural, professional and glamorous) and found those wearing makeup were seen as more competent than barefaced women, whether they had a quick glance or a longer inspection.