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Employers are more likely to hire skinny women

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Your worst fears have been confirmed, working ladies.

A study by researchers in the UK and Canada, published in the journal PLOS One, found that women who are on the heavier end of the “healthy” Body Mass Index, or BMI, range were subject to more weight-based prejudice than men who were solidly overweight.

Researchers showed participants a series of photos of men and women that were manipulated to show the same faces at different BMI levels. They then asked participants to rate how likely they were to hire each person for service-industry jobs. Faces of women on the upper end of the “healthy” range — but still with a normal BMI — were more likely to be rated as less qualified than the thinner female faces displayed in the study. For men, on the other hand, facial thinness didn’t impact hire-worthiness — even when the men displayed were overtly overweight.

The results, say the authors, confirm that having even the slightest amount of excess weight can put women at a disadvantage while job hunting.

Lead author Dennis Nickson called the results of the study “deeply unsettling from the viewpoint of gender inequality in the workplace,” and argues that employers should make more of an effort to counteract prejudice in the recruiting process.

2016.09.18 / 14:38
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