“One in five people believe that men should NOT be beauty therapists.”

Although we’ve put men on the moon and even recreated the conditions of the Big Bang, sadly, we are still struggling in the fight to eradicate prejudice from our society.

Ironically, nowhere can this last bastion of ugly behaviour be seen more prevalently than within the beauty industry.

A recent study into gender perceptions in regards to job roles, discovered that a staggering one in five people believe that men should NOT be beauty therapists.

Out of the 2000 people, 26% of men agreed with the statement that men should not work within the beauty industry whilst 16% of the females agreed too. Even more shocking, 18% of the survey’s respondents stated that they wouldn’t trust a male beauty therapist.

There is light at the end of this dismal tunnel though. Andy Rouillard, owner of the men’s only salon Axiom Bodyworks said, “The survey results clearly demonstrate that we still have a long way to go in addressing gender stereotypes and equality in the work place, but I suspect that if you’d asked the same question 10 years ago, the findings would have shown an even greater prejudice.”

It has become the norm for men to make regular trips to upmarket hair salons and it looks as though the trend is the same within the beauty trade.

Rouillard says he believes that a change in attitude will come as we see more men having beauty treatments. “With the number of males going to the salons increasing, I’ve already noticed a greater number of male therapists entering our industry. We already have some fantastic role models leading the way in the nail, makeup and grooming sectors.

This is encouraging, although it’s alarming to witness how difficult it can still be for some guys to find a training provider that will welcome them. I was lucky enough to find a school that not only accepted me as a male student but went out of the way to tailor aspects of the syllabus towards working with male clients.

“Prior to that, I had been refused interviews, had calls ignored and told outright on more than one occasion that it ‘wouldn’t be appropriate’ to have a male therapist in the classroom.”

Progress may be slow, but it appears we are getting there!

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