Weight Discrimination at Work
Most people automatically say that weight should not be a hiring factor. However, the ugly truth is, weight discrimination at work still happens.
For women especially. Heavier females suffer more discrimination in the workplace than obviously overweight men.
As shown by research, overweight or obese candidates are less likely to succeed in interviews, than those from the “lighter” weight group .
1. Research by Fairygodboss
Looking at a survey’s results with half a thousand hiring professionals, the answers show biases that weight can affect, and even prevent, women from getting hired.
Individuals were shown images, and asked questions, of different body types. The survey results revealed:
- Over 20% of the questioned recruiters, tagged the heavier women as looking lazy;
- 21% described her as unprofessional looking;
- Under 16% chose possibly hiring the larger woman.
2. Research by The Conversation
In this study, 4 images each of women and men of healthy weight range were used. A second set of the same images was then created with software which added weight to their faces.
At this point there was both the old, normal photograph plus a new “heavier” one.
Enough weight were added to the male faces to tip the scales to overweight. The women however, were still falling in the healthy range.
Participants were shown these photographs and told each were equally qualified for a specific position. Next, they had to rate each photograph’s face on employability.
The participants were shown the photographs twice. First, for a customer-oriented vacancy.
Second, for a non-public position “in the back”.
The slimmer men were more popular for the customer position, in comparison to the same-but-larger faces. Nobody cared about face preference for the backroom job.
For the larger female faces, vs their same-but-normal faces, employability was significantly lower for both jobs.
This is regardless of the fact that these larger women were still in the healthy weight range.
3. Research by psychologist Stuart W Flint
Flint, from Sheffield Hallam University, asked participants of his research study, to evaluate candidates for different positions.
The study compared CVs with different weight photographs, and the average weight group was found most desired for employment.
The least likely to be hired, were large women. Bigger individuals are perceived as being “less physically capable and slothful”.
According to Rebecca Puhl, a University of Connecticut professor at the human development and family sciences department, women are softer targets to workplace weight discrimination.
“We see people being discriminated against because of their weight when they’re applying for jobs. They’re less likely to be hired than thinner individuals with the same qualifications.” said Puhl from BBC’s Equality Matters.
This is the shocking truth about weight discrimination at work.
(Source: BBC, CNBC, The Guardian, The Conversation)
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