Transcript: Too Sexy for the Job?

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This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," December 13, 2005, that was edited for clarity.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Can you be too sexy for the job?

A new study finds that women who dress more like Hillary Clinton are more likely to land a job in the corner office, compared with someone who says, I don't know, look like Pamela Anderson. Is that fair?

Let's ask Ginger Burr. Ginger is president of Total Image Consultants. She joins us from Boston.

Is that true?

GINGER BURR, PRESIDENT, TOTAL IMAGE CONSULTANTS: Well, to a certain extent, it is. But what we really have to do is look at the word sexy. It's really provocative that we're talking about, not sexy. Sexy is a very subjective term.

CAVUTO: And it also makes a difference how high up the corporate ladder you are. What might be acceptable behavior for a receptionist or an office assistant is not the same for a senior V.P. or a CEO.

BURR: Well, it's not really acceptable anyplace, but people who are at the beginning stages of work or in what is considered a lower-tier job, it's overlooked. It's not expected that they are going to dress in a way that's as appropriate as somebody who is in a high-powered position.

CAVUTO: So, Ginger, what are we saying? In this age of "Desperate Housewives," where women of almost any age group are said and almost forced to be very super-sexy, that we don't appreciate of even want the same in corporate America?

BURR: Well, we really don't.

And, to be honest with you, your average woman doesn't really dress like that, generally, anyway. But we notice it when a few people do it. But that's the message that we're getting in the media, by celebrities, that putting your body out there is the way to present yourself, and it really doesn't help women at all to get ahead.

CAVUTO: All right.

So, the tip for women who are looking to aspire to the corner office, guide them on conservative dress. What should, first of all, they avoid?

BURR: Well, they should avoid anything that shows too much skin, cleavage, too short, too tight. You're not there to flaunt your body. You're there to work. But we are not talking about clothes that don't fit you properly.

Things can be beautifully fitted. The colors can be gorgeous. You don't have to stick to navy blue and gray. But you don't want to be exposing body parts.

CAVUTO: Do you think there's a double standard for men?

BURR: Oh, always has been, and may always be. And that's part of what women need to be aware of.

First of all, dressing provocatively is generally not an issue for men in the workplace. And they're allowed more leeway in terms of what they can get away with. They can be a little messy, a little sloppy, a little mismatched, and people will either think it's cute or just kind of overlook it as, oh, they don't know any better; they're just men.

That's not true for women. Women are expected from birth to know how to dress themselves. And when they don't, then they are looked down on as a result of that, and may not get where they want to go, for something as silly as how they dress.

CAVUTO: OK. Ginger Burr, thank you. Good tips.

BURR: Thank you.

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