Some frocking news from Friday’s Age, where Paula Joye was desperately attempting to justify her salary by blatantly misreporting a blatantly obvious ‘scientific’ study and concluding that it somehow proves skirt-wearing women are more likely than their pants-clad sisters to make a good, professional impression. And also that this is not sexist.
Joye writes: “Scientists showed 300 people pictures of women dressed in navy blue skirt suits and pant suits. The clothing was identical in everyway except for the bottoms. Within three seconds, the majority perceived that the women wearing skirts were more confident, successful and powerful than their trouser clad sisters.”
Now let’s have a look at the official press release about the study: “New research from the University of Hertfordshire, in collaboration with Mathieson & Brooke Tailors, shows how much clothing influences [first] opinions. The study shows that wearing a made-to-measure suit, rather than an off-the-peg equivalent, positively affects the judgments people make in those first three seconds.”
You’ll note, if you read the press release yourself (which you can download from the website of Professor Pine, the lead researcher; I’ve also put it here), that women are not singled out at all. So where is Joye getting her information from?
This better-written but still fatuous and grossly misleading Daily Mail article, which manages to be grossly misleading while still acknowledging the collaboration with Mathieson & Brooke Tailors.
Just in case their name’s not informative enough, Mathieson & Brooke Tailors specialise in bespoke or made-to-measure suits.
Math, as the Americans say. You do it.