Overweight women face too much discrimination in the workplace

We are often told that in order to be something in life, we ought to work hard. Through hard work and dedication we will rise to the top.

For some that is true. We’d like to believe we became the chief executive of our company because we earned it, right?

Yet, a woman’s physical appearance has been shown to be determinative of how much she’ll earn. Weight in particular is a determining factor when it comes to job placement.

I do not think that it’s fair for our country to be so biased. We care too much about “what it looks like.” We would rather see a cute reporter on the T.V. screen versus one who has the actual skills to report the news.

Women are already disadvantaged in the workplace - overweight women even more so. It seems that woman who are overweight tend to have a more challenging role when it comes to competitive wages.

A study by John Cawley presented on National Public Radio said that weight can determine how much you make. As for women who are overweight, they tend to make far less than a man who is overweight and generally work more demanding jobs.

NPR talked to Jennifer Shinall, a law professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Shinall spoke about how you never see an overweight woman as a receptionist. She said the reason for this is that you cannot allow the face of the company to rest upon someone who is not appealing to the eye.

The next point that was made is we do not place the same stigma on fat men because we associate them with being jolly. If we see a fat man that’s a receptionist it warms us because he probably is personable and will make us laugh.

One thing that was not touched on in the three-minute segment is why these women worked more physically demanding jobs. A 65-pound increase in a woman’s weight is associated with a 9 percent drop in earnings in Caucasian women, said the report.

Intriguing, to say the least, that a woman’s weight dictates how much she is allowed to bring home to her family. I also find it interesting that we associate being overweight with the stereotype of the “couch potato,” which is also associated with being lazy.

Maybe bosses or heads of companies have that image or stereotype already ingrained in their mind and that is why overweight people receive the jobs that they do.

Or they may have an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, meaning these women would not interact with the heads of the companies or the patrons of the company like a receptionist would and to keep the image of a well-polished company they send these women out in the field to do hard labor.

I can only speculate as to what the reason may be as to why these women get treated the way they do. What I do know is that everyone faces some type of injustices in their lifetime.

As for overweight women, this is just another one to add on to the list.


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