Tags: obesity | discrimination | job | women

Obesity Hurts Women’s job Prospects

Friday, 04 May 2012 03:58 PM

Looking for work? Your resume may not be the only thing you want to get in shape.
New research has found obese women have a harder time landing jobs and may receive lower starting salaries than their normal-weight peers, possibly due to discrimination.
The study, led by The University of Manchester and Monash University in Melbourne, examined whether anti-fat prejudice has an impact on the job front.
Lead researcher Dr. Kerry O'Brien said the study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, involved managers who viewed a series of job applicant resumes and photos, and were asked to rate their suitability, starting salary, and employability.
"We used pictures of women pre- and post-bariatric [weight-loss] surgery," said O'Brien, “and varied whether participants saw either a resume, amongst many, that had a picture of an obese female, attached, or the same female but in a normal weight range following bariatric surgery.
"We found that strong obesity discrimination was displayed across all job selection criteria, such as starting salary, leadership potential, and likelihood of selecting an obese candidate for the job."
O’Brien said researchers also noted that hiring managers who rated their own physical appearance highly – and said a person’s looks are important -- were more likely to discriminate.
"The higher participants rated their own physical attractiveness and the importance of physical appearance, the greater the prejudice and discrimination," said O'Brien. "One interpretation of this finding might be that we feel better about our own bodies if we compare ourselves and discriminate against 'fat' people."
The results also show women may face the brunt of obesity discrimination, researchers said.
"Our findings show that there is a clear need to address obesity discrimination, particularly against females,” O’Brien said.

© HealthDay

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Heavier women have a harder time landing jobs and may receive lower starting salaries.
Friday, 04 May 2012 03:58 PM
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