NewsTalk

Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

Race in the corner office

May 8, 2009
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Just when one hopes racial stereotypes are in retreat, along comes another study suggesting otherwise.

Now weâ??re told that black CEOs with â??baby facesâ?? fare better than black CEOs with more "mature"-looking faces when it comes to results at Fortune 500 companies.

However, the Northwestern University study showed, the opposite was true for white CEOs. Those with mature faces ran the better Fortune 500 companies.

Why? Study co-author Robert Livingston looks to long-known research showing baby-faced people are considered less threatening. In other words, study participants were more comfortable with baby-faced black CEOs because they looked more disarming.

Whatâ??s a baby face? One thatâ??s round, and has a larger forehead and full cheeks. Baby faces also have large ears, full lips and a small nose.

Is the study balderdash? Or does it reflect a subconscious racism still out there in the work place? Is there value in these studies at all?
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