Workplace Weight Discrimination: What can we do to break free?

If you are overweight you are less likely to be hired and more likely to get paid less, to have a worse job and to be stereotyped as lazy or lacking discipline… Research has stated that:

  • Only 15.2% of 500 human resources managers would employ an overweight woman.
  • Obese women earn $ 19,000 less than women who are not overweight.
  • Overweight people are more likely to have biased appraisal interview results, highly demanding jobs and long working hours.

As in any case of discrimination, to fight against it you need to act on different levels. What can be done?

  • If you are a person who has suffered employment discrimination. Use your resume and job interviews to fight the stereotypes associated with overweight: enhance your productivity achievements; indicate that work absenteeism does not go with you; mention that you have a healthy lifestyle. Be assertive with colleagues or situations that you consider offensive. Do not t let it go, it could get worse.
  • If you are a colleague of an overweight person. Think if there are biases in your company or in your relationship with workmates due to their weight. If so, be the colleague you would like to be if you were in such a situation.
  • If you represent a company. Design and implement strategies that identify and eliminate discriminatory practices due to weight. You can introduce it through the Corporate Social Responsibility policies and / or Equality Plans.

We can all do something. What do you do? Do you have any success story in fighting workplace discrimination due to overweight? Let us know!

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