A TOP businesswoman claims dyeing her blonde hair brown, ditching high heels and swapping her contact lenses for glasses is the secret to her success.
Eileen Carey, who is in her early 30s and works in Silicon Valley, U.S., also wears no makeup and loose-fitting clothes to work as she wants to be seen as a business leader.
She reckons switching the color of her locks helps her to be taken more seriously in her job and be seen less as a “sexual object”.
Eileen told how the first time she dyed her hair was due to advice she was given by a woman in venture capital prior to a big pitch with investors.
She told BBC News: “I was told for this rise [of funds], that it would be to my benefit to dye my hair brown because there was a stronger pattern recognition of brunette women CEOs.”
Eileen added: “Being a brunette helps me to look a bit older and I needed that, I felt, in order to be taken seriously.”
The theory of pattern recognition states that people look for familiar experiences or people which make them feel more comfortable when taking risks.
As a blonde, Eileen said she was likened to Elizabeth Holmes, whose company Theranos has been subject to controversy.
Eileen told how she has come across several other women who have dyed their blonde hair brown for their jobs.
She explained: We discussed that there’s the fetishization of blondes. People are more likely to hit on me in a bar if I’m blonde. There’s just that issue in general.
“For me to be successful in this [tech industry] space, I’d like to draw as little attention as possible, especially in any sort of sexual way.”
Eileen said her approach to gender issues and inequalities was inspired by her mum, Eileen Sr.
“My mom has short hair, never wears makeup, does not wear high heels, never wears dresses,” she explained.
“That’s who she has always been.”