U.S. working women see appearance as key: survey

NEW YORK Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:50pm IST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nearly all U.S. working women believe that their professional appearance is crucial to success at work, and one in five female executives say they have withheld a promotion or a raise due to the way an employee dresses, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

The poll found that 98 percent feel appearance affected their career, and just 2 percent disagreed.

The survey was conducted among female professionals, senior managers and business owners by PINK Magazine, a publication for career women, and Corset Personal Styling, a personal shopping company for women.

Fifty-five percent said they often think they have nothing to wear, and 40 percent said they tend to keep buying clothes that look the same, the survey showed.

Nearly half said they wear too much black, and a little more than half said they have difficulty finding trendy yet age-appropriate clothes.

Some 22 percent of the chief executives, top managers and business owners said they had withheld a promotion or raise because of how an employee dresses at work.

The survey, conducted online for Atlanta-based PINK and Minneapolis-based Corset from September 29 through October 11, polled 137 business owners, chief executives, managers and professionals from PINK's readership.

Of those, 36 were chief executives, business owners and top managers, it said. The poll did not include a margin of error.

(Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Michelle Nichols and Xavier Briand)

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