Several studies have recently shown that obesity in the workplace could affect the perception your employer and co-workers have about you. Employees with expanded BMI’s can be stereotyped as lazy, unmotivated, unintelligent, sloppy and lacking willpower. It is a stigma that could eventually cost an employee a promotion or even a job.
Overweight people are less likely to be hired, are lower paid and have fewer opportunities for promotion. Women suffer more than men when it comes to negative perceptions about obesity in the work environment. Louise, a manager at a telecom company, says the corporate ladder was downsized to a step stool because of her weight. Louise says that at size 24 she was not invited to meetings, she was not meeting with potential clients and was very much hidden in the background.
Then she started losing weight, got down to a size 12 and found that she got more opportunities at work. She says that within 12 months of losing weight she had gone from managing six people to more than 100. Researchers at the University of Exeter found that overweight females work longer hours, are considered less qualified for leadership positions and are expected to be less successful.
Interesting Note: Researchers at Vanderbilt confirm that overweight women earn less money than slimmer women while obese men seem to do just as well as their fit counterpart. The lead researcher, Jennifer Shinall, concludes “It really seems to be more of a sex discrimination issue.” Overweight women suffer far more than overweight men, says Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum, “Because people think women should be slim and attractive. In contrast, people think men are slobs and therefore if they are overweight, so be it.”
The final tally: According to researchers heavy women earned $9,000 less than their average weight counterparts; very heavy women earned $19,000 less.
Source: Gary R’nel
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