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Annie Hayes



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Lesbian candidates ‘dress-down’ identity to escape discrimination


Lesbians are turning their backs on more masculine forms of dress for fear of being discriminated against at interview stage.

This is the conclusion of an academic study by researchers at the Universities of Cumbria and Glamorgan, who claim that despite recent equality legislation, women who leaned towards more masculine attire felt their chances of netting a job were limited by dressing as they would really like.

Helen Woodruffe-Burton, project leader said: “In the light of recent equality and diversity legislation, particularly with regard to sexual orientation, it seems unreasonable that people should have to worry more about conforming to accepted standards of ‘feminine’ appearance than their ability to do the job.”

According to the study, this is what lesbian candidates are doing. One respondent admitted: “I would try and go as gender neutral as possible while at the same time maintaining a good old dollop of who I am and how I feel inside, with the aim of not being in-your-face butch, but having a slightly boyish look.”

The researchers plan to extend the study in the future to explore the experiences of minority groups that dress against conventional standards including ‘Goths’.

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Annie Hayes


Read more from Annie Hayes

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