Women’s Wage Gap Widened by Expected Beauty Standards

by Vins
Published: Last Updated on

What will you be doing in 2277? Unless something drastic changes, that’s how long it will be until women find wage parity. According to the Global Gender Gap Report, prepared for the 2020 World Economic Forum, women generally need to contribute more career years and work hours to earn equal pay. A more hidden factor is the need to spend a significant portion of their earnings to fit expected beauty standards.

A 2016 study from the University of Chicago and the University of California showed that women who were well-groomed, regardless of natural attractiveness, earned more than poorly groomed women.

Mindy Isser’s article “The Grooming Gap: What ‘Looking the Part’ Costs Women” suggests the grooming gap affects women of color or transgender women even more. Societies in North America and around the world still need to challenge inequity and patriarchy to close the gender pay gap and at the same time the grooming gap.


Mindy Isser, “The Grooming Gap: What ‘Looking the Part’ Costs Women,” In These Times, January 2, 2020, http://inthesetimes.com/article/22197/grooming-gap-women-economics-wage-gender-sexism-make-up-styling-dress-code.

Natalia Oelsner, “Davos 2020: Economic Gender Gap Not Due to Close until … 2277,” euronews, January 22, 2020, https://www.euronews.com/2020/01/22/davos-2020-economic-gender-gap-not-due-to-close-until-2277

Haley Richardson, “The Rise of the Grooming Gap,” Daily Mail, January 29, 2020. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7942339/The-rise-grooming-gap-Women-admit-REALLY-costs-look-work.html.

Student Researcher: Theresa Kliem (University of Regina)

Faculty Evaluator: Kehinde Olalafe (University of Regina)