It’s not the kind of argument you’d expect from a self-described feminist, and particularly not one who’s made a career of studying the lasting inequities of women at work. Use your sexuality to get ahead? Sure, many women already do that—to a degree. But considering sex appeal the great stiletto that will shatter the corporate glass ceiling? It sounds more like a Paris Hilton self-help guide than a serious work of scholarly research.
But Catherine Hakim, a research fellow at the London School of Economics, is far from joking—her new book, Erotic Capital, a 295-page manifesta for why women should use sexual capital to level the playing field at work.