Pretty women approaching female bosses for a pay rise should take caution over their timing – catching their superior at the wrong time of the month could make a big difference.
Women become far more competitive when at the peak of their fertility, and could offer up to 25 per cent less pay to their female counterparts, according to scientists.The ruthless attitude dates back to the hunter-gatherer days when a woman had to look after herself and withhold as much as possible from rivals in order to attract men.
psychology professor Dr Margery Lucas, said women need to consider their timing as well as how attractive their bosses are before negotiating any deal. During the study, carried out by psychologists at Wellesley College in the U.S., women had to offer a certain salary to an on-screen virtual partner, and keep the rest for herself.
At the end of the test, they rated the partner's attractiveness on a 10-point scale.Scientists said the results show that on average women in the fertile stage of the month offered 25 per cent less to the most attractive women compared to the least attractive women.
But women at the low-fertility stage were far more generous - offering 20 per cent more to the prettiest women than they did to the least good looking, the Independent on Sunday reported.Researchers say it suggests that women at the low-fertility stage are less threatened by beautiful female co-workers.
The psychology professor told the Independent on Sunday: ‘What we found supports the idea that, among women, competitiveness during periods of high fertility is linked to the withholding of resources from potential rivals.‘Resource competition is important because women need to acquire products – clothing, makeup, accessories, and so on – to enhance their attractiveness.
‘By offering less to attractive women and keeping more for themselves, fertile women can help to enhance their own appearance and weaken a competitor's ability to do the same.’‘Women today should be aware that in, for example, salary negotiations, menstrual cycle phase, along with the attractiveness and sex of the negotiation partner, could interact in complex and potentially costly ways.’