Sexist attitudes could be discouraging men from careers in the beauty industry

More than one in five people believe men should not be beauty therapists, according to a recent survey into gender perceptions of certain job roles.

When asked about which jobs men should not do, beauty therapy came top of the list, with 26% of male respondents and 16% of females agreeing with the statement.

The study, which was commissioned by point-of-sale technology company WorldPay Zinc, surveyed 2,000 people about their attitudes towards men and women that work in stereotypically gender-specific job roles, such as mechanic, pilot, nurse and beauty therapist.

Disappointingly, some 18% of the survey’s respondents went as far as to say they wouldn’t trust a male beauty therapist.

Andy Rouillard, owner of men’s only salon Axiom Bodyworks in Basingstoke, said, “The survey results clearly demonstrate that we still have a long way to go in addressing gender stereotypes and equality in the work place, but I suspect that if you’d asked the same question 10 years ago, the findings would have shown an even greater prejudice.

Geraldine Wilson, managing director of  WorldPay Zinc, agreed, saying that while she was disappointed to see that these “outdated stereotypes” still prevailed in the work place, she believes that attitudes are changing for the better.

Rouillard says he believes that a change in attitudes will come as we see more men having beauty treatments.

I've already noticed a greater number of male therapists entering our industry over recent years, and we already have some fantastic role models leading the way in the nail, makeup and grooming sectors,” he said.

“This is encouraging, although it's alarming to witness how difficult it can still be for some guys to find a training provider that will welcome them. I was lucky enough to find a school that not only accepted me as a male student but went out of the way to tailor aspects of the syllabus towards working with male clients.

"Prior to that, I had been refused interviews, had calls ignored and told outright on more than one occasion that it 'wouldn't be appropriate' to have a male therapist in the classroom.”