With the unemployment rate continuing to hover around 10 percent, finding a job is not so easy for a lot of people these days. However, there is one section of the population for whom obtaining employment is especially difficult: obese women. Recent research has uncovered that obese women are less likely to be hired, therefore causing them to be disproportionately unemployed.
If you think that the same prejudices apply to obese men in the workplace, think again. In actuality, overweight men are hired at rates comparable to skinny men. Evidently, size is not an important factor in the hiring process… as long as you’re not a woman.
While this double standard is upsetting, it is not altogether shocking. As we learned last year, women frequently are offered jobs based on their looks. Since women who fit the traditional beauty mold are more likely to land jobs, this leaves obese women at a disadvantage in the interview process.
What’s worse is that this inequity doesn’t just exist in countries that treat women as second-class citizens. As research has discovered, this trend is also prominent in countries where gender inequality is minimal.
So how do we eliminate this discrimination? The researchers suggest that using written applications and conducting phone interviews might be the only way to overcome the inherent size-based biases. After all, being obese doesn’t make someone a bad employee. In many cases, people gain weight for spending too much time at their desks rather than getting up and moving around.