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Choose your reason below and click on the Report button. This will alert our moderators to take action. Get instant notifications from Economic Times Allow Not now You can switch off notifications anytime using browser settings. Why CEOs tend to be significantly taller than the average male.
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I have always wondered why bankers, stock brokers, salesman, corporate executives, business school students, individuals appearing for job interviews and now even journalists wear a necktie, in the heat and humidity of India.
Common sense clearly is not at work here. A necktie doesn't really cover any part of the human anatomy that isn't already covered like clothes do and does not have any other utility, like a handkerchief. Though the story goes that in Elizabethan England, lawyers in London used to What percentage of men are over 6 feet tall a tie to clean their running noses because there wasn't enough time to take out their handkerchiefs during the middle of a heated argument.
But that was back in the Elizabethan era.
What is the utility of wearing a necktie now? Sheena Iyengar in the book The Art of Choosing just might have an explanation for it.
In fact, physical appearance has a greater impact even than job qualifications on whether a person will be hired following a job interview. But wearing a necktie is just a part of the story.
There are other factors at work that influence salaries. A major factor other than appearance is height. Several studies over the years have shown that height and salary are positively correlated.
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This is true "especially for men, who earn 2. In fact Malcolm Gladwell in his bestselling book Blink takes this argument to another level. In my sample, I found that on average CEOs were just a shade under six feet.
Given that the average American male is 5'9" that means that CEOs, as a group, have about three inches on the rest of their sex. But this statistic actually understates matters. Even more strikingly, in the general American population, 3. Now there is no conspiracy at work to ensure that the shorter guys earn lesser money or are kept out of leadership positions.
This is an unconscious prejudice where the tendency is to associate the ability to lead people or do a job well with physical stature and thus ignore other traits required for leadership positions. Timothy A Judge, one of the researchers of the height-salary link, feels there are evolutionary reasons for the same.
They ascribed leader-like qualities to tall people because they thought they would be better able to protect them.
Evolutionary psychologists would argue that some of those old patterns still operate in our perceptions today," he writes. Also the height premium is more at work at the leadership and managerial level rather than for blue collar positions.
Physical attractiveness has a lot to do with winning elections as well. But when it comes to jobs, other than physical attractiveness and height there are other factors at work as well. Like the colour of your skin or your caste for that matter.
In an Indian version of the same study carried out by Abhijit Banerjee, Marianne Bertrand, Saugato Datta and Sendhil Mullainathan, around Delhi, it was found that there was significant discrimination when it came to callback rates for jobs for upper castes vis a vis other backward classes and to a lesser extent against scheduled castes.
We would like to believe that it's our merit and ability that gets us where we are in our professional lives, but that is not always the case as evidence clearly points out.
Those who have worked in the media would know that people from two particular states, one in the east and one in the south, tend to fill up newsrooms more than people from other parts of India. Why is that the case? Now that's something worth thinking about for messers Banerjee and Mullainathan.
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