Do beauty and employment go hand in hand? Not always. Two notable cases have popped up in the news this week, asking us to examine how appearance affects women on the job. And the findings aren't very pretty.
Five female Al-Jazeera presenters, including Joumana Nammour (pictured), have quit to protest editor Ayman Jaballah's commentary on their "immodest" appearance. Unlike some other Al-Jazeera presenters, all five regularly appeared with their hair uncovered, prompting Jaballah to question their decency. After months of harassment complaints went unanswered by the TV network, the presenters resigned. (Three other women have registered protests but remain employed.)
To see what's going on in the States, keep reading.
Meanwhile, on this side of the world, New York banker Debrahlee Lorenzana argues that she was fired by Citibank because of her looks. In a lawsuit, she alleges that her bosses said her curvy appearance was too distracting, and she was ordered to stop wearing high heels, turtlenecks, and fitted business suits. She claims that the male managers complained they couldn't focus on their work because of her looks — which suggests to me that perhaps they're the ones who aren't good at their jobs.
Two very different tales, one exceedingly tired story: career women earn success in their respective fields and are forced to leave their jobs because sexist coworkers don't approve of their (perfectly reasonable) appearance. Lorenzana's case is headed to arbitration, while the five Al-Jazeera employees aren't making public statements. What do you think it would take to change the way looks are treated in the workplace?