The study was conducted in Iceland because the country is known for it. Iceland has the best gender equality among 134 countries, as determined by a world economic forum. It found there was a correlation between weight and the employment rate of women, with heavier weight being a slightly negative indicator. With men, there was a slightly positive correlation in employment and excess weight.
A 2009 study on the same subject in the U.S. showed similar results – the U.S. is ranked 31st in gender equality in the workplace. Overweight women “seem to be paid less,” says the study’s author professor Edward Norton of the University of Michigan.
The same held true in the U.S. study for men.
“The general finding is that there is not much effect for men,” said Norton. “If anything, larger men were paid more.”
“There is something in western society that seems to penalize women for being overweight,” he said.
That “something” isn’t really a mystery, is it? Many male bosses make at least some of their decision making based on the attractiveness of women.
Since it’s basically out of your power to change the nature of men, the best thing you can do is to look at diet and fitness as not only important for your physical health, but for your fiscal health as well. Not only will staying fit make you more employable in an unfair world, you will also feel more confident, which in turn will help you perform better in the interview process.
May 25th, 2011