Do employers discriminate against overweight jobseekers?

It’s a silent discrimination. Physical appearance and stature would weigh heavily in a job interview.

When applying for a new position, it’s best to be tall and slim. Meeting an employers’ expectations does not just mean the job profile in terms of competence. If you do not have an attractive physique in the eyes of the recruiter, especially in terms of weight, your resume could be thrown away despite being well-qualified. This silent hiring discrimination factor is highlighted by a study conducted by the Human Rights Defender and the International Labor Organization. The survey covered 998 job seekers aged 18 to 65.

The title of the study says it all: “the physics of employment”. Understand, if you are obese or overweight and you have a style that does not please, you leave with a disability.

“The results highlight the important place occupied in recruiting the compliance of candidates to socially accepted standards, both for dress codes, more easily modifiable, than for physical characteristics, yet unalterable,” observes the study. “Having an unusual style or build is a major disadvantage to being hired and may encourage employers to question candidates about these attributes during job interviews.”

The numbers speak for themselves: 79% of respondents (83% of women and 76% of men) think that their physical appearance has an influence on the recruiter. 8% of the unemployed in the sample say that they have been discriminated against in hiring because of their physical appearance (10% of women and 6% of men). Women consider themselves to be twice as victims of these hiring discriminations related to their physique.

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85% of women (and 78% of men) consider that having a “style not in line with company codes” are among the most penalizing situations to be hired, as well as being more than 55 years, to be pregnant and to have a visible disability.

On the other hand, for 66% of women and 65% of men surveyed, having “an attractive physique” is seen as an asset during a job interview.

In study recently conducted by Fairygodboss, it was found that out of 500 hiring managers only 75 or 15.6% said that they would consider hiring an overweight woman. As part of the study, they were shown a picture of an overweight woman and asked if they’d consider hiring her. Besides admitting that they would not hire her, 20 percent of them characterized her as “lazy,” and 21% called her “unprofessional.”

On the same subject: Pakistani Airline Wants Its Hostesses To Lose Weight Or Stay On The Ground

Emy Torres

Emy holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan and currently freelances part-time for The Talking Democrat.