Recruiter rejects woman from vice president job because she doesn’t wear makeup

A New York woman claims she was denied a high-level job because a recruiter didn’t believe her appearance showed enough commitment.

In a viral TikTok that has been viewed more than 266,500 times, Melissa Weaver, 30, said she did all the things that would be in line with an office dress code in her video interview for a VP of HR role at a technology company.

Weaver says she wore a black blazer and a white button-down shirt – both pressed – combed her hair dramatically and painted her nails a neutral color.

But was there one thing he didn’t have on him? Trick.

@_melissaweaver Does wearing makeup at work make a difference? #job #corporate #career #interview #job #jobsearch #makeup #jobinterview #opinion #advice #women ♬ original sound – Melissa

“I didn’t think it was a big deal,” Weaver wrote in an essay Internal about the accident. “But apparently it was for her.”

Weaver said she thought the interview went well — it even lasted 10 minutes longer than expected — but was surprised when she received an email days later saying that while she was “on track” with that that the company wanted in terms of experience and values, she would not advance to the next round.

Related: Woman goes viral for live recording of her firing, responding

As a human resources expert, Weaver insisted on getting feedback, namely when the recruiter told her via email that the company was “concerned that you hadn’t put enough effort into your appearance given that you were interviewing for a vice president role.”

My reaction was a little shocked. One, that someone would write it in an email. But more importantly, in 2024, this is still happening,” he said. “Hearing that because I hadn’t done it, was somehow less qualified, or didn’t seem like I was as enthusiastic about the job was just disconcerting. “

People in the comments jumped to Weaver’s defense, calling the recruiter’s decision “wildly inappropriate” and urging her to forward the email to the company’s head of human resources.

“It’s crazy that I told you this in an email,” one person wrote. “This would never be said to a man.”

“It honestly feels like discrimination,” said another. “Don’t you get hired based on your looks?”

Related: The emotional and financial cost of workplace bias

Weaver did not call out the company by name.

According to LinkedIn, Weaver last worked as a Senior People Business Partner at Action Network before being laid off in December 2023.

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