And yes, this only applies to women
So we all know about the gender pay gap. And the problem of pregnancy discrimination. And the hugely irritating phenomenon of ‘mansplaining’. But it seems that women have now got one more issue to contend with, as apparently a woman’s weight could affect her career.
Yes, as a woman you have a whole other gender barrier to break through – and that’s before you’ve even got the job.
According to a recent study, prospective employers are more likely to hire thinner women over a higher BMI rival – a prejudice which incidentally doesn’t apply to men.
In the study, researchers created two images of a man and a woman and asked them which person they were more likely to hire. In the first image, the man and woman had a fuller face while in the second their faces were noticeably thinner.
Researchers found that potential female employees who are at the upper end of the healthy BMI spectrum are more likely to be viewed negatively than their overweight male counterparts.
What’s more, when choosing between the photos of the two women, employers were more likely to hire the thinner one, especially when it was for a customer-facing job.
‘These findings suggest quite clearly that women are at a distinct disadvantage compared to men in relation to their “gendered physical capital”’, said the researchers.
‘The situation is unlikely to change any time soon,’ said the researchers. ‘In both the UK and the US, weight is not a protected characteristic in fair employment laws.’ As a result, they conclude, women who are discriminated against in this way have no legal protection – just another factor which explain how these results are ‘deeply unsettling’.
And they really are ‘deeply unsettling’ because they underline just one more way that women are being objectified and discriminated against in the workplace.