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Tall women get ahead in the work place

12th April 2010 Print

In Great Britain, women have long aspired to be like the diminutive fashion and sex symbols we see on the screen and in the pages of our magazines.

Stars like Kylie Minogue and Cheryl Cole (5’0 and 5’3 respectively) are just the latest faces in a long line of sweet ‘n’ petite celebs that stretch back to Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor.

So where does this leave those women who are over 5’8”, long considered the threshold of what makes a tall woman? Being tall is to be public – there’s no hiding from a clothing disaster when you’re in full view. But when only 1% of the billion dollar worldwide clothing industry caters for tall women, they have often grown up feeling self conscious in poorly fitted clothes and unable to enjoy fashion and the fun of shopping trips with friends most women take for granted.

Arianne Cohen, the author of the Tall Book, says: “Being a tall woman is to be public - there's no hiding when you're in full view. When I was younger, choosing an outfit meant picking the accessories that went with the men's pants. Having good tall clothing is a psychological issue - it's simply impossible to feel good about yourself while wearing men's clothes, or fashions from five years ago.”

But in the workplace taller women tower over their counterparts in terms of money and power. Research shows tall women earn approximately £485 more per inch per year, and the chances of being in a managerial role increases by 80% if you’re over 6’0”. Indeed, according to the survey carried out by Long Tall Sally, women over 5’8” earn on average £5k more a year than those under that height.

Outside of the office though, this confidence goes missing as women admit to feeling embarrassed and exposed.

Recent research puts Cheryl Cole at the top of the “most admired list” (25%), but stylishly tall role models come in right behind her, including Nicole Kidman (18%), Cameron Diaz (14%) and Sophie Dahl (13%), who all stand tall at over 5ft 8in according to the survey carried out by Long Tall Sally.

Arianne says: “Research shows that tall people are consistently more successful in the workplace, not only do they earn more but they're more likely to be in leadership positions. In fact, studies have shown that being tall is an advantage even at the interview stage, as when presented with two equivalent candidates, 70% of employers will choose the taller applicant.

“As taller people have a downward eyecast when speaking to shorter colleagues, they are instinctively perceived to have authority and confidence - which means those who are taller are resepcted by their colleagues and bosses, giving them a thriving atmosphere that leads them to more success.“

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