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September 8, 2011 4:15 PM

The Careerist: All Dolled Up

Posted by Vivia Chen

Finally, an explanation about that annoying wage gap!

According to research by Elon University's business school, it behooves women to speed it up in the morning when they're getting ready for work. Reports Rachel Emma Silverman of The Wall Street Journal:

A study cited in the Harvard Business Review found that for women, an increase in personal grooming time is associated with lower earnings. (The data comes from federal time-use surveys; grooming is defined as time spent washing and dressing oneself, including brushing, shaving, getting dressed, choosing and changing clothes, combing hair, applying moisturizers, etc.) For instance, if a white woman doubles her daily grooming from 45 minutes to a whopping 90 minutes, her earnings drop an average of 3.4 percent, found the study by researchers at Elon University.

And the effect for men? Well, no one cares--unless you're a minority. Reports the WSJ:

Grooming has no effect on white men’s earnings, but for minority men, going from 40 to 80 minutes of grooming increases earnings by some 4 percent. The researchers say grooming may counter negative stereotypes of minority men.

I'm hardly speedy, but I rarely take 80 or 90 minutes to get ready. In fact, I don't know anyone who spends that kind of time on dressing for work unless she has a steady gig as a prom queen.

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