Vegan men perceived as less suitable for ‘masculine jobs’, study finds

Throwing away cheese can dampen your career prospects.

Because vegans are less likely to be hired – especially if the candidate is a man, research shows.

Polish experts found that men who stated their dietary preferences as vegan in their job application were viewed as less skilled by potential employers.

This was especially acute if they had applied for jobs that the researchers claimed were stereotypically “masculine,” such as a financial analyst.

However, whether or not women consumed meat did not affect their job prospects, according to the researchers.

Interest in a plant-based diet has undeniably skyrocketed in recent years, and some studies also suggest that it may even lower the risk of heart attack or type 2 diabetes. But researchers at the University of Warsaw said employers seem to erroneously associate veganism in men with incompetence. Meat consumption is traditionally associated with masculinity, and masculinity, in turn, is often viewed as a measure of competence, they said. “Vegan men can be seen as less masculine, so with less stereotypical masculine traits,” they added

Interest in a plant-based diet has exploded in recent years, with vegans citing ethical, environmental or health reasons.

Some research suggests that the diet lowers the risk of heart attacks and type 2 diabetes.

But researchers at the University of Warsaw said employers seem to erroneously associate veganism in men with incompetence.

Poland was chosen for its conservative approach to veganism, with only one percent of Poles identifying as vegan or vegetarian according to the latest Eurostat data.

About 838 study participants were randomly assigned one of eight versions of a fictitious resume of men and women who were supposedly applying for jobs.

This included different answers for the candidate’s gender and the position being applied for.

In the hobby section, either “vegetable cooking” or “cooking” has been added to differentiate between vegan and non-vegans.

Basic information, including previous experience in the position and education related to the position, was also provided.

Half of all resumes were fictitious applications for a job as a psychologist — “in line with the stereotype of a female profession,” scientists said — and the other half for a position of financial analyst, “a stereotypically male profession.”

Volunteers were then asked to review each application for at least 60 seconds before answering a series of questions about the candidate.

The questions measured perceptions of warmth and competence.

Respondents then answered questions about the candidate’s suitability for the position and their willingness to hire the candidate on a scale of one to seven.

A score of one was considered ‘definitely would not assume’, with seven being ‘definitely would assume’.

Write in the Journal of Social Psychologyresearchers said vegan men were considered less capable than same-sex carnivores.

Vegan men who applied for the position of financial analyst scored an average of 4.77 and 4.26 for competence and warmth, respectively. Meat eaters, on the other hand, achieved results of 4.92 and 5.3.

Male vegans who submitted resumes for a psychologist role, meanwhile, reported 4.66 and 4.92 for ability and warmth.

Carnivores averaged 4.1 and 4.43, respectively.

“Vegans who applied for a stereotypically female position – psychologist – were generally perceived as warmer than vegans who applied for a stereotypically male position – financial analyst,” the scientists said.

Studies have previously shown that men tend to eat more meat than women, despite the fact that both sexes need the same amount nutritionally.

The researchers said the women’s dietary preferences “did not influence” their perceived warmth or competence.

The exact number of vegans now in the UK is almost impossible to pin down.

But a recent survey suggested around 600,000 people currently follow a plant-based diet, while another in 2021 claimed nearly a third of Britons used alternative milks.