Ditching cheese could dampen your career prospects.
For vegans are less likely to be hired – especially if the candidate is male, research has revealed.
Polish experts found men who listed their dietary preferences as vegan in their job application were perceived to be less competent by potential employers.
This was especially acute if they had applied for jobs that the researchers claimed were stereotypically ‘male’, such as a financial analyst.
However, whether or not women consumed meat did not influence their job prospects, according to the researchers.
Interest in a plant-based diet has undeniably soared in recent years, with some studies also suggesting it even lowers the risk of a heart attack or type 2 diabetes. But researchers from the University of Warsaw said employers wrongly appear to associate veganism in men with incompetence. Meat consumption is traditionally associated with masculinity and masculinity, in turn, tends to be seen as a measure of competence, they said. ‘Vegan males may be perceived as less masculine, thus, having less stereotypically masculine trait,’ they added
Interest in a plant-based diet has soared in recent years, with vegans citing ethical, environmental or health reasons.
Some studies suggest the diet lowers the risk of heart attacks and type 2 diabetes.
But researchers from the University of Warsaw said employers wrongly appear to associate veganism in men with incompetence.
Poland was chosen for its conservative approach to veganism, with just one per cent of Poles identifying as vegans or vegetarians according to latest Eurostat data.
Some 838 study participants were randomly presented with one of eight versions of a fictitious CV from men and women supposedly applying for a job.
This included different responses for the candidate’s gender and the job role being applied for.
In the hobby section, either ‘plant-based cooking’ or ‘cooking’ was added to differentiate between vegan and non-vegans.
Basic information including previous experience in the position and education related to the job role was also listed.
Half of all resumes were fictitiously applying for a psychologist role – ‘consistent with the stereotype of a female occupation’, scientists said – with the other for a financial analyst position, ‘a male stereotypical occupation’.
Volunteers were then asked to judge each application for at least 60 seconds, before answering a series of questions about the candidate.
The questions measured perceptions of warmth and competence.
Respondents then answered questions about the suitability of the candidate for the job position and about their willingness to hire the candidate on a scale of one to seven.
A score of one was deemed ‘I would definitely not hire’, with seven indicating ‘I would definitely hire’.
Writing in the Journal of Social Psychology, researchers said vegan men were deemed to be less capable than carnivores of the same sex.
Vegan men applying for the financial analyst position scored an average of 4.77 and 4.26 for competence and warmth respectively. Meat eaters conversely recorded results of 4.92 and 5.3.
Male vegans submitting CVs for a psychologist role meanwhile reported 4.66 and 4.92 for competence and warmth.
Carnivores scored an average of 4.1 and 4.43 respectively.
‘It was observed that in general, vegans who applied for a stereotypically female position – psychologist – were perceived to be warmer than vegans applying for a stereotypically male position – financial analyst’, according to the scientists.
Studies have previously shown men tend to eat more meat than women, despite the fact that, nutritionally, both genders require the same amount.
The researchers said women’s dietary preferences ‘did not influence’ their perceived warmth or competence.
The exact numbers of vegans now in the UK is almost impossible to establish.
But one recent survey suggested around 600,000 people are currently believed to be on a plant-based diet, while another in 2021 claimed that almost a third of Brits used alternative milks.
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