Overweight Women: Fat Chance of Getting Ahead

The weighty matter of being a fat female in the workplace affects your earnings, ability to be promoted, and even job security.

The latest on that is the study by Timothy A. Judge of the University of Florida. It found that very thin female employees earn an average of $15,572 more a year than do females of average weight. For male employees, it's the reverse. Very thin men get paid less.

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Clearly, employers have internalized the weight prejudices of the fashion industry. In the Wall Street Journal, Sue Shellenbarger notes that organizations have to examine their stereotypes. "Fat chance of reform," is what you're probably thinking -- and you're probably right.

Until employers change, women who aren't abnormally thin will have to accept this reality and create strategies to give themselves the edge in other ways.

For example, like Penelope Garcia on Criminal Minds, they can become known as the best in what they do. Like Peggy Olson on Mad Men,' they can be shrewd observers and players of the game. In addition, like Alicia Florrick on The Good Wife, they can be the one with the contacts who, in a pinch, is able to bring in new revenues.

Next: Woman Fired For Being Too Fat. Claiming It's a Disability. >>

Jane Genova


Jane Genova http://janegenova.com began focusing on transitions when the academic market collapsed as she was writing her dissertation in linguistics and literature at the University of Michigan.  After re-establishing herself in the public relations industry, she gradually published on the subject.  Her first piece was on The Professional Woman in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.  Since then, she co-authored the book THE CRITICAL 14 YEARS OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE and myriad e-books and articles on career subjects ranging from emotional intelligence to aging.  In the 1980s she attempted another change by attending Harvard Law School.  She didn’t complete the degree but channeled that experience into maintaining a legal blog [http://lawandmore.typepad.com] housed at the Library of Congress.

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