Appalling Study Shows “Obese” Women Face Alarming On-The-Job Discrimination
4:25 pm, June 11th | by Amy Tennery
It’s not exactly news that women considered medically overweight or obese often face discrimination — and even abuse — in the workplace. (I know, newsflash, people have crappy outlooks.) We’ve heard it all before: Thinner women tend to earn more than heavier women, while heavier men experience the inverse phenomenon.
With these kinds of trends, it’s no wonder that garbage like Business Insider’s “don’t hire fat people” story was actually published last year. Classy stuff.
I say this by way of explanation: Obesity discrimination on the job is real. And yet another study today proves it’s an even greater problem for women than we may have ever realized before.
The study, published today by the European Commission’s Community Research and Development Information Service, shows that obese women face tremendous hurdles in the workplace:
The study shows that obese women do not really stand a chance of landing a job when they are up against non-overweight candidate. But that is not all. Obese women are even paid less than their thinner counterparts.
Wow. That’s about as blunt as it gets.
The study, which is published in the Journal of Obesity, gauged levels of obesity discrimination in Australia and the United Kingdom by showing participants “a series of resumes that had a small photo of the job applicant attached.” Participants were then asked to rate “applicants’ suitability, starting salary and employability.” I think you can see where this is going.
One researcher explained:
“We found that strong obesity discrimination was displayed across all job selection criteria.”
Appallingly — although not necessarily surprisingly — the study found that people who self-report high levels of obesity prejudice are more likely to discriminate against obese female job applicants. So, people who know they’re asshats act like asshats. Good to know.