Your mustache may be hurting your career, survey says

Movember is over – and maybe that is a good thing, according to one survey.



Movember is over – and maybe that is a good thing for those who chose to sprout facial hair to raise money and awareness for men’s cancers, as one survey shows that a mustache may actually harm your career.

According to the latest survey by the American Mustache Institute (AMI) and Wahl Trimmers, 92% of people surveyed believe moustaches are appropriate for the workplace and 65 per cent believed facial hair should be encouraged where they work.

“We’ve observed this anecdotally for decades at the Institute, and now we have data to confirm it,” said Dr. Adam Paul Causgrove, chief executive of AMI. “[Those wearing mustaches] have fewer opportunities for advancement and leadership than their shaven counterparts.”

The trend of growing mustaches in November – dubbed Movember – got its start in Australia and gained popularity in North America only a few years ago, as a means of raising awareness and money for the research of prostate and other male-associated cancers.

The survey findings also suggested that those wearing a moustache are still the minority in managerial positions. Among the 1,109 people surveyed, only 30 per cent of them reported to a supervisor with facial hair.

Broker Rick Orr admits that he has received a few jovial jibes about his beard, but that hasn’t prevented him from rising to the top of his profession.

“I have only ever received fun-intended taunts,” says Orr, owner of Orr Insurance in Stratford, Ont.  “With the full beard and long hair these days lately I’ve been getting Grizzly Adams comparisons, which is better than being compared to Uncle Si!”

Although glad no one has compared him to the old, bearded man on the A&E television show Duck Dynasty, Silas Robertson, Orr is quick to point out that he does not allow facial hair to prejudice the hiring process at the brokerage.

“Last week we hired a young man with the latest look of ‘not-quite-clean-shaven,’ just a few days (or weeks depending on the guy) stubble,” says Orr. “Obviously I’m ok with that.”

According to the survey, one reason for this prejudice against upper lip hair could be the stereotype attached to having a mustache.

The mustached lifestyle continues to be identified with a celebratory or “party” culture, with 69% of those surveyed associating moustached lifestyles with excessive alcohol intake.

However, the opportunity for gainful employment for those choosing the mustache lifestyle seems to be favorable, as 93% of survey respondents said they would recommend a job opening to a mustached friend.


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