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

Two thirds of us wouldn't recognise the symptoms of ovarian cancer

Would you be able to identify the telltale signs?

by Hayley Spencer
29 Mar 2017

Watch this moving video about representation in the arts

This dance company hopes to inspire young African American girls

29 Mar 2017

Lego builder: it's a real job and you can apply for it

Legoland is hiring a model designer

by Amy Swales
29 Mar 2017

A man has been cleared of sexual assault because he didn’t ‘enjoy’ it

Diego Cruz Alonso, 21, was found not guilty of assault on Monday.

by Moya Crockett
29 Mar 2017

“Dating with bipolar: how I learnt to be open about my mental health”

One writer's frank account of opening up to a new partner

29 Mar 2017

Watch hilarious video that debunks idea women are bad at maths

The 1980s-inspired send-up encourages women to pursue STEM careers

29 Mar 2017

Sexist tube ad comparing a woman to a house extension taken down

But it shouldn't have been made in the first place.

by Hayley Spencer
29 Mar 2017

Watch the chilling new trailer for Netflix's Casting JonBenét

The film set to drop on April 28th

29 Mar 2017

This is how much your old Sylvanian Families toys are worth on eBay

(Hint: it’s a LOT)

by Kayleigh Dray
29 Mar 2017

Love Actually fans, there’s another sequel in the works

And this time, Laura Linney is making a comeback

by Kayleigh Dray
29 Mar 2017