The American Mustache Institute (AMI), the national chapter of a global organization dedicated to battling discrimination against the mustached community, yesterday released the first major study on facial hair in the workplace since 1991.
The online survey of 1,109 Americans ran from October 2013 to November 2013. The results show an overwhelming number of people support facial hair in the workplace, but those who sport 'staches still face some hurdles.
Some 71% of Americans surveyed said they work with a "Mustached American male or female" at least once per week, and more than 45% work daily with someone who has general facial hair.
Respondents viewed their mustached colleagues as those that word hard, play hard, and drink hard. And 41% witnessed these co-workers exhibiting "vast displays of upper body strength."
Most importantly, 92% of Americans surveyed believe mustaches are appropriate for the workplace.
“The finding defies current facially hairless social ideals and signals a tipping point for the current shaving-normative culture," AMI CEO Adam Paul Causgrove said.
Interestingly, only 30% of respondents said they reported to a supervisor with facial hair at work, which Causgrove sites as evidence of a "mustache ceiling." Despite growing tolerance of — and even support for — facial hair in the workplace, many leaders around the world still have smooth faces.
The gap between the amount of unshaven employees and those higher in companies remains unclear, but AMI hypothesizes that the phenomenon may be related to what researchers call the "ESPN factor." The network's on-air talent is typically clean-shaven, and ESPN continues to be one of "the most rabidly consumed information sources of today’s male ages 21 to 48," according to the report.
AMI is the world’s only facial hair advocacy and research organization with more than 800 global chapters. It claims to be "the bravest organization in the history of mankind behind only the U.S. Military and the post-Jim Henson Muppets."
“Our job is far from over,” Causgrove said. “We will fight this issue, and we believe it is only a matter of time before a sexually dynamic Mustached American lifestyle proliferate popular culture as it did in the ‘70s and ‘80s."
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