Sangeetha Pulapaka

Interesting question!. White hair helps me when, I want to cut in long lines and I guess that is a good thing. Gray hair once was considered the ideal in business and politics - white or gray powdered wigs were all the rage in the 18th century among U.S. colonists, who gravitated to gray because they equated older age with respect, power and prosperity.

Today, gray hair is common for men at the CEO level. But whether other executives, rank-and-file employees or job applicants benefit from gray is another matter.

Certainly the message conveyed by TV networks is less than pro-gray, particularly among women. Spotting a female anchor or reporter with gray hair is about as likely as, well, having a boss who wears a powdered wig to the office. And not a single one of the eight women who are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies has gray hair, based on recent photographs.

Karl Pillemer, a professor of human development and gerontology at Cornell University, says Americans clearly are ambivalent about gray hair in the workplace.

"On the one hand, there are some companies eager to hire the gray-haired. On the other hand, in some other areas there is extreme discrimination" against older workers, he said.

So no Rock, white hair seldom helps!