Past research has found that women like to remove their facial and body hair. A 2010 Wayne State University survey found that about 85% of women remove their upper lip hair and 96% of women remove their body hair. However, new research suggests that growing a mustache may help them move up in their career.
According to a new study published in the British Medical Journal, female leaders at medical schools are fewer and far between than mustaches. Of the 50 medical schools examined in the study, 13% of leaders were women, while 19% were mustached humans.
Researchers defined mustaches as “the visible presence of hair on the upper cutaneous lip,” which means that a mustache could exist with or without other facial hair, such as a beard. Most importantly, mustache identification was gender neutral. Researchers evaluated each leader “for the presence of facial hair regardless of sex.”
Though the research subject may be a bit odd, the research is as real as it is peer-reviewed. Best of all, it has a big point: since it’d be discriminatory to ask male leaders to shave their mustaches to even things out, the only choice medical schools have is to increase the number of female leaders, the authors concluded.
“To highlight the paucity of women in academic medical leadership, we wanted to choose a rare but easily identifiable comparator unrelated to promotion and achievement: the moustache,” the study said.
It also noted that less than 15% of men in the general population have mustaches. Yet, it found that this rare feat of facial hair was still more common amongst leadership than women.
The mustache study proposed serious solutions to its troubling findings, including defining hiring criteria prior to the process, and accounting for child care by increasing job scheduling flexibility.