Unfortunately, gender discrimination in the workplace is far from a new thing. Women face many struggles in almost any workplace, and there is still much progress to be made in many areas. A recent study has shed light on an additional problem women face at work. The findings from this study also show discrimination based on even very slight differences in weight. Not only is this workplace discrimination a problem, but it also shows even more bias when taking gender discrimination into account.
The study indicated that women who were slightly overweight faced discrimination. According to doctors, many of the women who were shown to face discrimination were still within a perfectly healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) range – only slightly above the average number. The findings are said to highlight the unrealistic expectations which society places upon women’s looks, and how those expectations even influence their potential jobs.
Details of the Study
One-hundred-twenty participants were asked to rate photos of 32 different people for their job suitability. There were two types of jobs considered: one that required interaction with customers (such as waiting tables), and one that did not (such as kitchen work). They were told that all “applicants” were equally qualified for the positions, and were to rate them on a scale from one to seven.
However, 16 of the photos were part of the experiment. Four men and four women were shown twice – once with their original picture, and once with a digitally altered version adding the equivalent of several pounds. As mentioned above, this was still made to fall within a perfectly healthy BMI range.
The findings of the study showed that the heavier versions of applicants’ faces were rated as less hirable than the average versions of those faces. Even more worrying was the fact that women’s weight differences were judged more harshly than men’s. More “overtly overweight” men were routinely judged as more hirable than women who were only very slightly overweight. This especially held true for jobs that involved interacting with customers.
Bucks County Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Pledge to Fight Gender Discrimination in the Workplace
The findings of this study only highlights how much gender discrimination still affects the workplace. If you or someone you know has been the victim of discrimination in Pennsylvania, then the skilled and effective Bucks County discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates are ready to help. Call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. From our offices in Center City, Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York.