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The lowdown: Back in 1990, professor Sandra M. Forsythe did some research on the connection between how people dress for work and how they’re perceived by potential employers. She showed respondants four videos of job applicants, each styled in clothes with different levels of masculinity. (In this case, masculine = dark colors and straight lines; feminine = round lines and lighter colors.) Business Insider sums up her findings: the more masculine the outfit, the more competent the perception of the subject. Jeez.

But that was forever ago! What about now? As the article points out, more recent studies seem to indicate that our implicit assumptions about masculinity and leadership haven’t changed much. Which is incredibly frustrating. As for what you can do right now: recognize that these assumptions were made not just by the men in the study, but also the women. It’s hard not to absorb stereotypes, even when they’re damaging to you. As women, recognizing our own biases and working to correct them – even as we call on men to do the same – is both difficult and incredibly important. 

These articles represent a collaborative effort between CGH Team Members. read more about