Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Want to do well at work? You’d better learn to stand like a man, say scientists

beyonce power pose.jpg

We all know the importance of a power pose to assert one’s dominance at work – hell, George Osborne and Theresa May knew it so well they took it to the extreme at last year’s Conservative party conference (see below).

Now, scientists have released the findings of a study that suggest women stand in a typically masculine way, in order to be taken seriously at work.

The pose involves standing with feet, shoulder width apart, while using expansive hand gestures – a pose which is also said to bring people inner confidence before public speaking.

The study, conducted by scientists at University College London found that adopting this power pose was likely to make a huge difference in the way a woman is perceived at work – even if she makes no changes to her clothes or what she’s saying:

“It seems the way people look when words are spoken influences the way people interpret these words,” say the researchers.

power pose

George Osborne and Theresa May pulling out their power poses at party conference season 2015

Scientists came to their conclusions after conducting two studies. The first involved filming an actress delivering a short speech while standing in several different positions.

They then asked 1,500 viewers to rate the woman on everything from her appearance to her perceived intelligence.

A second experiment saw 500 volunteers watching actors and actresses delivering speeches in one of two positions: a power pose or a submissive stance (hands by their side and awkwardly swaying).

Volunteers said rated those in the power poses as more confident, convincing and inspiring, and said they’d be more likely to vote for them in an election.

Co-researcher of the study, Richard Newman, tells the Daily Mail that the findings could be particularly helpful for women – who are conditioned to stand in a ‘feminine’ manner:

“If women can overcome their cultural conditioning and communicate using a stronger style, it could significantly increase their impact and influence and overall success in the workplace.

“Gender should never be a barrier to your ideas being heard.”

But Newman insists that, although we are ‘born to stand with our feet apart’, the pose doesn’t come naturally to all, recommending women practice it in order to find the pose that feels the most natural:

“You have to practise it and do it in your own way. Everyone has their own style.”

Newman cites Beyoncé, Julia Roberts and Angelina Jolie, as examples of women who have nailed the power pose.

 

Related

rexfeatures_5345742p.jpg

Angelina Jolie set to teach a unique course about women in London

eu ref.png

Shoppin, ravin, chattin: the new pro-EU campaign posters

steps.jpg

Stylist meets Helen Sharman – the first Briton in space

mumpreneur.jpg

“Belittling and offensive: why I want to ban the word Mumpreneur”

Emojis.jpg

Non-sexist female emojis could appear on your phone later this year

high heels office sent home.jpg

Woman is sent home from work for not wearing high heels

body image.jpg

Women with poor body image are more likely to take dangerous risks

Robin Wright Claire Underwood Frank House of Cards Kevin Spacey Equal Pay Gender Inequality.jpg

How Robin Wright fought for (and won) equal pay on House of Cards

iStock_000063336005_Medium.jpg

“Word to your boss – this overtime has to stop”

Comments

More

The loneliness crisis: can you really make friends on an app?

"I’m filled with a warm, first term at Malory Towers-style hope"

17 Feb 2017

People are more scared of deadlines than they are of actually dying

Makes sense to us.

by Moya Crockett
17 Feb 2017

Seven year old girl asks Google for a job - and gets the best response

"Dear Google boss, when I am bigger I would like a job."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
17 Feb 2017

The Love Actually cast have already started filming their reunion

And there are behind-the-scenes photos. WE CAN’T DEAL.

by Moya Crockett
17 Feb 2017

“You were my best friend”: watch the heart-breaking #HurtBae video

“I did everything… I had sex with other girls. I did everything.”

by Amy Lewis
16 Feb 2017

This Yorkshire bakery has created an entire range of unicorn bakes

Move over rainbow toast/bagels/toasties

by Amy Swales
16 Feb 2017

This is the best drink to pair your cheese with (no, it’s not wine)

Is it gin? Is it Prosecco? No, it’s…

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Feb 2017

Science says this is the one incredible benefit of staying single

It seems as if staying single may be the best route to a happy-ever-after…

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Feb 2017

Quiz: which Love Actually character are you?

It's time to find out which of the film's most iconic characters you're actually like...

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Feb 2017

A free cheese and wine festival is coming to London

And there’s chocolate involved, too

by Moya Crockett
16 Feb 2017