diamond.jpgCareer experts will tell you to go out and invest in a nice suit before you go out on an interview. The thinking is you should look well-off so a hiring manager doesn’t think you’re desperate for the job.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you should NOT look too good or too rich, especially you gals out there.

Just yesterday a hiring manager told me she did not hire an administrative assistant because of the big diamond ring on her finger.

“We figured she would quit easily because she was rich and newly married,” the person said.

This is not an isolated occurrence.

The CEO of work-fashion site Workchic Melissa McGraw had this happen to a friend of hers. “The hiring manager said she didn’t need the salary she was requesting since it was apparent she was ‘taken care of’ and didn’t need the money due to her large ring.’”

I suspect, there are a couple of things going on here. It can be argued that this is a form of bias against working women. Why? Because these employers believe a woman will take her first chance to make a break for it given her financial status.

Indirectly, this can be seen as a form of pregnancy discrimination before the fact. An employer may surmise she will be more likely to take the stay-at-home mom route when she has a child because her hubby can foot the bill.

“There’s an idea out there that women don’t really want to work or aren’t committed to their careers,” said Pamela Stone, associate professor of sociology at Hunter College and the author of “Opting Out?: Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home.” “This is one of the toughest things women are dealing with. Everyone thinks, thanks to the New York Times article on opting out [from 2003], that well-credentialed women are going to drop out the minute they can if they are married to well-credentialed men.”

This is not the reality, Stone stressed. No matter what the media says, she added, “there has not been an exodus of women from the workplace.”

I think Stone is onto something, but I also wonder what a huge diamond ring says about us as women. Often times I see newly engaged women more excited about the rings than the guys they’re marrying.

That said, there is nothing worse than judging people based on how they dress but it happens folks, and alas women get the short end of the stick most often.

Until society starts accepting that most women want thriving careers and not a sugar daddy taking care of them for the rest of their lives, you’re going to have to scrutinize what you wear before you go to that coveted job interview.

“Our advice is to keep your interview attire simple,” said Workchic’s McGraw.

She herself felt the sting of appearance bias. “I also had a hiring manager tell me that I didn’t need the job I was interviewing for since she could tell I was well off since I was carrying a Louis Vuitton tote bag,” she explained. louis.jpg

Time to tone it down gals.

“While you have every right to wear your large diamond engagement ring,” she added, “hiring managers make their first impression of a candidate starting with their outward appearance. Turn your ring around if you feel it will be an issue. Keep the designer handbags and shoes at home. That way you will be judged on your skills and abilities rather than the carat size of your engagement ring!”

What do you all think? Should you be wearing what ever the hell we want and not care how we’re judged? What’s more important, showing off the ring or the job?

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