Are you progressing a bit? It’s time for us to embrace 50 or more shades of gray

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Regardless of her background, try saying that to women politicians who are judged without mercy and remorse over their looks. The vanity bonfire is alive and well among male politicians, too. Trumpian hairstyles, a Boris flop, a Nationals Stetson or even uncharitable tuber comparisons all serve to paint a picture of a workplace preoccupied with appearances.

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Over the past decade I have received unsolicited advice and encouragement: liposuction (twice), lap-band surgery (twice), Botox (once), teeth whitening (three times) and several m begging to dye my hair. So far, I have resisted all these pleas. Maybe I made a terrible career mistake. I am fully aware that this kind of (usually) well-meaning pressure is felt a hundred times more frequently and stronger by women.

The reality is that we generally live longer and remain more capable, lively and vital for much longer. In a job market that seems to be suffering from significant talent shortages, this is a good thing. Maybe employers will finally embrace 50 or more shades of gray and hopefully ignore the great Oscar Wilde when in Dorian Gray he wrote “it’s only superficial people who don’t judge by appearances” . We can all drink it!

Jim Bright, FAPS is Professor of Education and Career Development at ACU and owns Bright and Associates, a career management consultancy. Email opinion@jimbright.com. Follow him on Twitter @DrJimBright

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