Sleeping with your boss can 'boost your career and give you a promotion... especially if you're a woman'
28th August 2010
It will threaten to destroy your family life and lose you the respect of others.
But having an affair with the boss is seen as likely to boost your career, especially if you are a woman.
Some 37 per cent of office workers said that from their experience those who slept with their superiors were rewarded with a career boost.
And no wonder - no matter how high achieving, female executives will not reach the very top of their profession unless they find a 'sponsor' who will speak out on their behalf, the study for the U.S. Centre for Work-Life Policy found.
More often than not they are in a position of power and influence, and almost always male and married.
Despite all the risks, affairs in the workplace are still a common occurrence.
Some 34 per cent of women in executive positions said they knew a female colleague who had slept with their boss.
Even at director level or above, 15 per cent of women admitted to having had an office fling.
The risks of inappropriate behaviour in the office were recently illustrated when Mark Hurd, 53, the chief executive of computer giant Hewlett Packard, resigned over alleged sexual harassment of Jodie Fisher, 50, a former reality television contestant turned marketing consultant with the company.
Hurd who is married, has settled the matter out of court for an undisclosed sum.
But even if he had kept his job, the study showed the damaging effects that sleeping with the boss would have had on office life for the pair of them.
In terms of morale, 61 per cent of men and 70 per cent of women lose respect for a leader involved in an affair.
Don’t expect that your colleagues will have no idea what is happening - 60 per cent of male executives and 65 per cent of female executives suspect that salary hikes and plum assignments are being traded for sexual favours.
Some 48 per cent of men and 56 per cent of women feel animosity towards the involved couple, and 39 per cent of men and 37 per cent of women see a fall off in productivity as the team splinters.
Relationships expert Jean Hannah Edelstein said: ‘Office affairs are a bad idea. Your boss already has a lot of power of you so once your start sleeping with him, how do you know that he’s going to fulfil his end of the bargain?
'Even if it happens in the short term, everyone will know what’s going on and you’ll lose their respect.
'It poisons the atmosphere and in the long run it is not worth it and will follow you around the industry.'
She added: ‘In some jobs that are boring you’re sitting there all day and you want to fancy someone, or in some high-pressure jobs there is nowhere else to meet people, so these things do happen.
‘If it does, be prepared to leave your job if it goes sour, it can be that serious.
‘You really have to ask yourself: "Am I that into this person I’d be prepared to lose my job over it?" If the answer is no, then don’t do it.’