Edited by Adelina M. Broadbridge and Sandra L. Fielden
Chapter 6: Size does matter: the impact of size on career
This chapter explores the impact of size, especially obesity, on career and how employers and legislators can mitigate discrimination against people of extreme size. There is ample evidence of widely held biases and negative stereotypes toward the obese. These biases appear to lead to discrimination against large-sized people in all phases of employment including hiring, discipline, promotion and compensation. The penalty associated with being overweight varies by gender. Women are penalized when they move from the slender range into the normal and overweight range: the larger the size, the greater the evidence of discrimination. Among men, the weight penalty is associated with being either underweight or obese, with little evidence of discrimination against normal and overweight men. Men also appear to pay a smaller penalty for being overweight than do women. Employers can mitigate weight and height discrimination through human resources best practices, such as using structured interviews. Governments can mitigate discrimination by extending legal protections to obese employees.
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