University faculty want to work with, but not compete with attractive male peers

January 14, 2016

Men’s attractiveness can play a significant role in their academic career, writes Sun Young Lee, an Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the University College London School of Management. Lee draws on a recent study she performed in collaboration with the University of Maryland, London Business School, and the Insead Business School to conclude that men’s level of physical attractiveness might put them at both an advantage and disadvantage in faculty hiring decisions. For example, writes Lee, “junior faculty members working in an institution where tenure processes are highly competitive may feel threatened when they interview candidates for junior faculty positions who appear more competent.” Contrary to student-focused research in the US, Lee’s work found that “female candidates’ looks did not affect their perceived competence.” Times Higher Education