Woman in a short skirt flirting with men in an office hallway

40 per cent of women believe flirting is the way to get promoted

Elizabeth Bromstein|

Nearly half of British women are trying to get ahead by flirting with their male bosses.

Feminism just did a massive facepalm thanks to new “research” by a website called Escentual.com. OK, so I would guess that the users of a site with that name might not exactly the MBA demographic, but what do I know? They could be. Anyway, the survey is getting some media attention, so we might as well take a look.

Female First reports that “The research found that 40% of women regularly arrive at the office sporting an alluring scarlet shade of lippy in an attempt to attract the attention of their male bosses.

“And even more women, nearly two thirds, would wear heavy eye make-up in order to be noticed by their male superiors.”

Ugh. The article goes on: “Perhaps the reason for this bold and sexy make-up is that 40% of women believe that flirting with the boss is more likely to gain them promotion at work.”

Good grief. Did Reese Witherspoon teach us nothing in Legally Blonde!?

Almost half of the women also said they would wear low-cut tops in the workplace, presumably as part of the plan to get promoted.

The article takes issue with the fact that most of the women would pair the red lipstick with the heavy eye makeup, “Which we all know is a big no-no, it’s one or the other ladies eyes or lips especially during the day.” But not with the fact that all these women are flirting to get ahead.

Does it work? Some seem to think so, particularly if you’re willing to go the extra mile, so to speak. One study by the Center for Work-Life Policy showed that just over a third of US women, 37 per cent, said they’ve known people to have gotten career boosts out of sleeping with the boss.

But I doubt it’s worth the risk. All the research actually proves is that some people believe there’s a correlation, not that there actually is one.

The same study found that 15% of executive women admit to having had an affair with a superior, which isn’t exactly a towering number.

I think flirting and/or sleeping with the boss for the purpose of getting ahead is far more likely to backfire than to land you a corner office. People see through that sort of thing. I could be wrong.

“Dude,” a friend of mine says, “I cannot tell you how much sleeping your way to the top happens at my company. It’s rampant.”

OK, even if I’m wrong, I still think you were better off to get there on merit.

To be clear, I’m not averse to office romance. Work is as good a place to meet someone as anywhere. Nor do I object to nepotism. What I object to is moving up through sex or flirtation. Not being able to understand the difference is to be deliberately obtuse.

Anyway, the vast majority of women – me included – look terrible in red lipstick.

So, just pick another colour, OK?

What do you think?


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