Fat Robs you of Career Opportunities!

Friday, November 06, 2009

This is an excerpt from the book, DOES THIS CLUTTER MAKE MY BUTT LOOK FAT! by Peter Walsh. It is not necessarily my opinion.

If you're overweight, don't be surprised if you have trouble landing the job you want. When it comes to being hired and promoted, trim, fit-looking people definitely have the edge over their fat colleagues. Recent research show that only 9 percent of top male executives are overweight and, amazingly, that overweight people can expect to earn 10 to 10 percent less that their thinner coworkers. Weight discrimination in the workplace is harder to prove and usually couched in subtle but unmistakable terms. Women are particularly hard hit in this area, with one study quoting 60 percent of employers saying that they would either not hire, or only hire under specific circumstances, women who were obese. The stereotype of the fat person is someone who is lethargic, lazy, and has little self-control. This is a huge hurdle for any candidate with weight issues to overcome (page 37 of DOES THIS CLUTTER MAKE MY BUTT LOOK FAT? by Peter Walsh).
This is my opinion...A few years ago there was an obese singer who had a gorgeous voice, but they put up a slim person with no talent used her lip-sync the song. The slim lady got promoted and the obese singer had to sue to get her money for using her voice. It makes me think about some of the American Idol contestants that were overweight. Simon Cowle would just flatly tell them they didn't look the part,regardless of how talented they were.
I do think that their is a subtle prejudice against overweight people. Your sex, race, or age your cannot change......but we can change our weight! So let do it Sparkers! emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SLIM242
    Being an HR Manager, I would like to think discrimination of this nature is not going on. It's illegal! The EEOC and department of labor take matters of this nature very serious. If anyone feels employment was denied due to prejudice or discrimination, I urge them to contact the Department of Labor and file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    4130 days ago
    As I begin looking for a new job - my weight has definitely become a stressor for me. Where I currently work, I've been able to dress comfortably, i.e. business casual - no suits for me because I can never get one to fit nicely with my out of proportion shape. Now I'm getting stressed because I don't know what I'll wear to an interview, if and when I get one. But as you say, weight is something I can control and change, so I better get busy. Thanks for the reminder.
    4168 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2948406
    i cant agree with you more. been there and done that. you are not alone. i have been passed over because of other things because i was a fat black girl and i was a fat girl with "big hair". discrimination does happen. love your realness.
    4178 days ago
    This is sad to read, but so true. It's pretty unfortunate that so much of who we are is based on what we look like. We're stereotyped even before we say a word. However, we can't let someone else's perceptions hold us back from our destinies. We alone hold that power.
    4179 days ago
  • MUSTANG0421
    This may be hurtful but it is certainly true. I am in education and have seen countless people promoted to leadership who do not have the skills or knowledge for the jobs. Others who are more than capable don't have the "look" and are constantly overlooked and discouraged from applying.
    4180 days ago
    Sorry to say that it is true, we tend to judge the outside first before we get to know the the real inner you.
    Great blog, Thanks for sharing it with us.
    hugs. Sandra
    4182 days ago
  • FITKAT2010
    Some friends of mine own an International Health Education based business. They often go to Washington, DC and confer with cabinet members, Senators, etc. They know their stuff! "M" is tall, large boned (truly) and very conscious of her appearance as a large woman. She has lost about 30 lbs this year and struggles. She dresses for success and to hide her big hips.

    Her DH is tall, slim, and good looking. He has no problem looking the part of a CEO.

    One day "M" and I had the chance to talk. I asked her point blank if her company hires overweight people. She told me honestly that they do. She said that they hire from a person's ability, not their weight. She also stated that they often pay higher insurance premiums for that person. It isn't a matter of discrimination with them. It is a matter of health and well being.

    Their company has many health benefits for their employees. They have yoga, walking, healthy food, etc. They even allow their employees to bring their well-behaved furry 4 footed kids with them to work.

    Personally, I am more concerned with a person's health and emotional well-being than how much they weigh. I promote SparkPeople as a place to go for education on methods to improve both. That is actually the way I think and feel.

    I no longer look at weight tickers unless someone has just shared their weight loss. I support anyone getting healthier. If that includes weight loss so be it.

    Being slender, after a loss of 52 lbs, isn't all that is important to me. Fitness and continual self-care on all levels is.

    Wow, long answer!

    Thanks for the excerpt. The book sounds interesting.
    4182 days ago
  • KELLI9001
    I totally agree with this. Hence the reason I'm working so hard to loose the weight. My skills are much better than others but yet, against the young skinny girl, I'm out. I just hate that feeling and try to think positively.

    Thanks for sharing this.
    4182 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3967518
    As an unemployed, overweight female, I can say I have seen this. During one interview, I met all of their requirements doing the exact same job I had been doing before. The interview went very well but yet I did not get the job. During the office "walk-thru" I noticed everyone was trim and younger. Shame huh?!
    4182 days ago
  • TOWANDA132
    I can totally see that. thanks for posting this
    4182 days ago
    I have no doubt that weight related discrimination takes place. I think toward the end of your blog you spelled it out pretty clearly about our attributes that we can and cannot control. I just started looking so I have not had any nibbles on my resume! But I will most definitely keep you posted as to how my weight issues may or hopefully -- do not affect the decision any hiring managers may make.

    Thanks for pointing out your blog, btw. I found it very insightful!

    4183 days ago
    Thanks for posting this! Just one more confirmation that we are in the right place!

    Stay Strong!
    4183 days ago
    i do believe there is 'fat' discrimination.
    4183 days ago
  • LINDA25427
    Great blog. I copied it and emailed it to my daughter and sister . Thanks for sharing . God Bless . Hope you have a great week . emoticon
    4183 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5285708
    Great blog. So true. Let's stop making excuses and get healthy.
    4183 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1508102
    Great blog. This is a great topic and I enjoyed reading all the replies. Weight discrimination is one of the reasons I'm working to lose the weight. With my age and my weight, I feel it's going to be impossible to leave my job and get another one. I'm going to have to out and get that book. Sounds like good readying.
    4183 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2702433
    I do agree... I think that overweight people do get discriminated against... not matter how talented or smart they are. It is only when they have already made it, and THEN get over weight is it "accepted". Though it is not like they don't get snickered at. It's sad. It is something that needs to be changed and us former "fatties" are the ones to do the changing. We MUST remember what it felt like to be "the Fat" one in the group.
    4183 days ago
    Definately think that this is true. Keeping fit and trim not only pays off healthwise but very well could make a difference in the paycheck.
    4183 days ago
    It's sad that so many cultures place such high value on being thin rather than on the individual and what skills and abilities she or he can offer to a company. Thanks.

    4183 days ago
    So very true. Great blog. Thanks.
    4183 days ago
    I'd always been slim until a few years ago when hormones, stress, etc. really gave me extra pounds. The difference in how hiring folks related to me for projects and in job interviews was amazing as compared to my former trim, fit self. It was very obvious, and I was totally blown away. Now that I'm on my way down again, I can see the difference once again. Yes, on top of all of the other "isms" that one has to face, the weight-ism is a definite downer.
    4183 days ago
    This was one of the better blogs I have seen on the subject of weight discrimination in the workplace. As unemployment numbers rise and for companies trying to continue providing health insurance...the situation is getting worse ....lets face it...overweight is an issue when it comes to health insurance premiums...so I agree..those in the workforce who want to continue and those trying to break into the workforce...Sparking is a great way to improve the outlook!
    4183 days ago
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