The Beard Necessitates

As November approaches so does Movember. Men all over the UK, and indeed the world, have been competing with their friends and colleagues to grow a moustache of noteworthy proportions (or not, as the case may be). This month-long event has now been running for several years and was originally established in a bid to increase awareness of various male cancers. As it does every year, Movember opens up the facial hair debate. To beard, or not to beard?

During her time in government, Margaret Thatcher famously announced that beards would not be tolerated among her ministers. But has the passage of time brought with it a change in attitude?

Not according to a number of well-known bearded celebrities, including Jeremy Paxman and Richard Branson. Apparently, they have each experienced varying levels of ‘beard fear’, which is known as pognophobia. But what about in the workplace? How are beards and moustaches having an impact there?

Facial Hair in the Workplace

Firstly, it appears that beards can actually have a positive effect upon employment and job prospects. According to the Telegraph’s Lauren Davidson, those with a beard are often considered older and as a result wiser and more capable. A lasting evolutionary throwback relating to dominance or authority is also thought to give bearded applicants the edge over their non-bearded peers. The longer the beard, the more powerful and masculine the wearer is assumed to be. Moustached or bearded candidates are more likely to be offered the position when up against non-bearded competitors.

Higher Earners

A 2009 study appears to back up these theories. Quicken, the financial services provider, suggests that in fact clean-shaven men earn 4.3% less than their bearded counterparts. Moustached men were found to be the highest earners overall compared to those with full beards or no beards.

Facial Hair Fashion

Facial hair’s recent revival in popular culture mean that facial hair is not only a hot fashion accessory at the moment, but also a benefit when in the workplace.

The moustache may always remain a contentious issue, going in and out of fashion, but the current perception appears overwhelmingly positive.